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Alton Towers Staff Being Trained In Makaton

March 29, 2022

Staff at Alton Towers theme park are being trained to use signs to better communicate with guests.

From Friday, workers at the Staffordshire attraction were being trained to use basic skills and phrases in Makaton to aid accessibility.

Over 100,000 children and adults use Makaton symbols and signs, either as their main method of communication, or as a way to support speech.

Staff said they felt the training was “really important”.

Alton Towers Resort said equipping frontline teams with these skills will help guests feel more included in experiences at the park, particularly young guests visiting CBeebies Land and the CBeebies Hotel.

Makaton, which uses signs and symbols to aid communication, is known for being used by Justin Fletcher and his character Mr Tumble on the CBeebies programme Something Special.

Alton Towers said it hopes beginning the training now will allow staff to be prepared to assist guests during the busier Easter and Summer periods.

Kate McBirnie, head of guest excellence at Alton Towers Resort said: “We want our teams to be able to engage and communicate on all levels.”

Makaton trainer Amanda Glennon said it makes a “huge difference” to people.

“The expectation is really low because there aren’t very many places outside your daily life where you can actually walk in and somebody just be able to sign hello to you,” she said.

“We move around a lot in our job and work in lots of different areas, so actually having the knowledge of Makaton on a broad range, to be able to bring all different people into our attractions, I think is really important,” said Alton Towers performer, Lauren Turner.

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