Make Friends with Marty! Fun with Robots and Lego

by SLCo - charity in Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom

We did it
On 22nd April 2020 we successfully raised £800 ( + est. £60.00 Gift Aid ) with 52 supporters in 49 days

Creating a lifeline for excluded and isolated Dundee kids who really struggle to communicate-a fun, friendly, funky Bricks and Robotics Club

by SLCo - charity in Dundee, Scotland, United Kingdom

New stretch target

FRED & TALLULAH  are going online! We need your help now! We don't want kids to be isolated and unsupported during this difficult time when they are at home. Fred & Tallulah will arrange their online club and organise rooms ( safe spaces where children who find it difficult to interact within a group) so that the kids  can still meet and communicate. 

It's costing us a little bit more to make sure we can run our face to face and group activities in a different way.

Making sure kids are safe and ensuring that we can access the platforms we are going to use  adds extra costs.

You've helped us reach our target - What better thing to do than make a sure we can reach out to children NOW!

Thanks from Fred & Tallulah to all of you who help us make this happen!

Would you know that I struggled to communicate?

The Speech Language Communication Company (SLCo) is a Scottish Registered Charity dedicated to supporting children and young people with speech, language and communication problems.

Thousands of young people across Scotland struggle with their speech, language and communication. 

Over 10 % of  ALL  children live with a speech or language impairment. 

Children and young people who struggle with their speech and language need special support from people who understand how difficult it is for them to get through each day without having the ability to communicate like the majority of us do.

We don't think about people who can't communicate  do we? We never stop talking and interacting with our family and friends. It's non-stop. 

But it's not like that for children who struggle to understand what's been said to them. 

They need time to process the information coming into their brain and then really think about how to  form a response. 

They are often left behind because life is too fast giving them too little time to catch up.

Getting through school and conforming to standard education can be a nightmare.

Children often lack confidence and their communication difficulties make it  hard for them to go out alone or make friends.

They often experience social isolation, bullying and poor mental health. 

Take a moment, think about  how your life might be if you couldn't just turn around and talk to your family and friends?

So what do we do to help give children a voice?

SLCo is  a licensed provider for Lego-based therapy  - we use it with kids to build social communication. In 2019 we piloted a Dundee Digital Robotics club, where 10-15 year-olds build Marty the Robot.  Loads of kids wanted to go but w didn't have enough money.

We want to pilot a new club for younger kids (6-10) who love building and coding! Led by trained coaches, clubs help with social communication, turn-taking and co-operation. Clubs are fun and help isolated kids learn to work and play together and most importantly make friends.

Our original fundraising goal of £2000 will cover the cost of our staff (one robotics coach and 2 trained support lego play staff) plus volunteer costs and administration for the club to run a 3 hour club, once a week for 10 weeks. We'll probably support around 10 kids. Do the math - it doesn't cost much per child to make a difference.

We often need a higher ratio of support staff than a mainstream  club in order to support children on a 1:1 basis when needed. Our trained volunteers help.

Communication barriers and sensitivities around being in a group make it difficult for kids to make connections and build relationships so having skilled, patient, committed and emotionally intelligent people around is really important.

Our £2000 will cover the staffing costs, volunteer travel, the venue cost, and of course the safety elements we need to run a club  including safeguarding and insurance. The club's general administration and management is supported by the charity's main office in Dundee.

We already have Robots and lots of lego style  bricks and models to build so no extra costs there.

Please see Update 1 for full info on why our target is now £750. During the COVID 19 emergency it is not possible for clubs to take place. Meeting the target can help our mascots Fred + Tallulah keep help our SLCo club kids keep in touch virtually, learn together and keep safe. We all look forward to when Marty and friends will be back face to face!

So, what do we know?

  • Kids that don't communicate very well need people to help them so that their voices can be heard. 
  • Kids that don't understand language find it difficult to make  friends. 
  • Kids that don't fit easily into a fast-talking world get left behind. 
  • Kids that people believe in start to thrive - we've seen it, just watch the Marty video!

What can we do about it right now? 

Every single one of us reading this could help support the voice of a child  -  that  few pounds we spend on a coffee or two might be a priceless gift to a child who would benefit from having the opportunity of making friends. Are you ready?



This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£25 or more

0 of 50 claimed

A FURRY DAY OUT - Come and meet Fred and Tallulah!

As well as helping an important cause you will get the amazing chance to come along and spend some time with our cutest and friendliest pets: Fred and Talullah! Fred the cat and Tallulah the Airedale terrier are the mascots for our charity and Fred & Tallulah's Club runs on Saturdays . We're going to make a special day out for people to come and meet them..and some other furry and not so furry friends. Great fun for kids! Don't miss out

£5 or more


Once the club has run we're going to create a little e-storybook which will include some stories about the children who came along and we'll share some photos and other interesting things we discover on the way - we hope you'll like to hear how your money was spent and what a difference your £5 made.

£100 or more

0 of 100 claimed


Champions who donate £100 will help us achieve the ultimate goal of running the club for a whole year. You will receive your special Children's Communication Champion Lifetime Award at a special celebration event and have a chance to meet some of the young people and their families that come to the club. Your name will go into our Hall of Fame and your gesture will no doubt live on in the memories and smiles of the children who'll benefit.

Got an idea like this?

Over £100 million has been raised from our crowd to support the projects they love! Plus tens of millions more unlocked by our partners.