[Skip to content]

Search our Site
HRCH logo

Children's Speech and Language Therapy (Richmond)

A child during a speech therapy session

What is speech and language therapy?

Speech and language therapy provides services for children and young people in the borough of Richmond (aged 0 – 19 years) who are having difficulties with the development of their speech, language, communication and feeding.

We work closely with parents and relevant professionals to enhance and assist the development of all areas of the child/young person’s speech, language and communication and feeding. We will also suggest and model strategies that can be reinforced throughout the day.

We offer assessment and input in the areas of:

  • Attention and listening

  • Understanding spoken/signed language

  • Communicating using sentences and vocabulary appropriate for the person’s age

  • Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC)

  • Using speech sounds appropriate for the person’s age

  • Social interaction and play

  • Stammering

  • Voice production

  • Feeding and swallowing, including sensory behavioural difficulties 

As well as providing assessment and input to children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN), we also provide: 

  • Training and support for families and other people involved in the care of children and young people with speech, language and communication needs

  • Training for professionals who work with children and young people with communication needs. These are delivered in a variety of settings including schools, early year’s settings, and children’s centres.  We also contribute to the local council’s workforce development training programme

  • Support in the community to prevent or reduce communication difficulties from developing

Our service also participates in research and development and student therapist training. 

Advice/Early Help and Prevention

Richmond SLT Telephone advice line  (TAL)

The Telephone Advice Line is a quick way to access our service for advice/information on speech, language and communication development. It provides the opportunity for parents to ask a qualified speech and language therapist questions about their child’s communication or feeding. No referral is necessary although the therapist may feel, following her discussion with you, that a referral into the service is indicated.  Professionals can also access general advice but for information relating to a specific child, parental consent must be obtained.  

To access advice via the TAL call 020 8973 3512 and leave a message for a therapist to call you back.  Current wait times to expect a call back are approximately 2 weeks.  

Speech and Language Therapy supported Stay and Play sessions for Under 5s

Specific Stay and Play sessions running in your local children’s centre will include your local NHS speech and language therapist and/or assistant.  The speech and language therapy team will be available to answer your questions on your child’s speech, language and communication skills development.  They will also be working closely with the stay and play team to give you tips on how to support your child learn to talk during play and everyday activities.  

For up-to-date information on session times and locations, please visit: http://www.richmond.gov.uk/services/children_and_family_care/childrens_centres 

Assessment and Intervention

Early Years Service

Speech and language therapists from the Early Years Team work with children up until the end of reception with a range of speech, language and communication difficulties.  Our approach focusses on assessing each child’s individual needs and working together with parents and key adults in order to introduce strategies to support the child’s speech, language and communication skills development.  Sessions may be delivered as 1:1 or group input based on each child’s individual needs and include bespoke training to parents/carers.  In addition, the team offers a consultation service to early years setting practitioners as well as a range of training modules as part of the Borough’s Work Force Development programme. To book onto training courses available for 2017-18, please visit Richmond Council's website.  

Mainstream Service

Mainstream therapists provide a consultative service to primary and secondary schools within the London Borough of Richmond for children starting in Year 1 with Educational Health Care Plans (EHCP).  

The team provide on-going assessment and monitoring of children’s speech, language and communication needs delivering input as recommended in their EHCP.  They work closely with teaching staff to offer advice, identify targets and strategies and model activities so that these can be integrated and embedded into the curriculum.  Whole school and small group training is offered as necessary in discussion with the school SENCo.  In addition, we offer a range of training modules as part of the Borough’s Work Force Development programme. To book onto training courses available for 2017-18, please visit Richmond Council's schools and college training page.   

Special schools & units service

Therapists work in all state maintained special schools and units in the London Borough of Richmond.  They work with children individually and in groups as appropriate as well as delivering input within the classroom in conjunction with the class teacher. Staff work closely with all teaching staff to jointly identify targets and strategies that are integrated into the classroom and throughout the whole school day.  A range of training is offered to staff throughout the school year. 

Clinic service

School-aged children/young people, who present with a stammer and/or speech sound disorder, come under the care of the clinic service and are offered assessment and follow-up sessions according to their presenting need.  Input may be in the form of advice; 1:1 or group sessions and focuses on working with the key adults around the child in order to embed supportive strategies.   

Feeding service

For children aged 0 – 19 years with dysphagia (chewing and/or swallowing difficulties) and/or sensory behavioural feeding difficulties.  The feeding team offer assessment, advice and monitoring according to each child/young person’s individual needs and in collaboration with parents.  The team also work closely with key adults and other health professionals as part of the multi-disciplinary team caring for the child/young person.

Where we do it

Our service is delivered in different settings including clinics, children’s centres, early year’s settings, special schools and units and mainstream primary and secondary schools. 

We work closely with other professionals in health, education and social care as well as with voluntary and charitable organisations in order to deliver an integrated service.  

Who we work with

We work in partnership with parents, education staff and other professionals in health and social care as well as voluntary and charitable organisations in order to deliver an effective and integrated service.

The support and engagement of parents and teaching staff to reinforce new skills at home and integrate communication targets into the classroom is key to all children and young people’s progress.

We link specialist hospitals and centres nationally for second opinions and outreach where appropriate.

How our service works

Therapy input is evidence-based and will always include offering advice and recommendations regarding how to support the development of the child’s speech language and communication skills both within the home and in the educational setting.  This may include making small adjustments to the way you communicate and interact with your child/the child you are working with as well as adapting the learning and home environment to best support the child. 

When we work directly with young children, our activities are play-based. We aim for children to learn through playing and having fun. We use toys, pictures, books and whatever else will interest the child in order to get maximum attention and maximise outcomes. 

When we work with older children and young people, we still aim to keep activities fun and relaxed but sometimes there will be a greater element of more formal teaching involved.             

The Richmond Speech and language Therapy Team has an open referral system for advice concerning the speech, language and communication and feeding development of children and young people, aged 0-19 years, via the Richmond Speech and Language Therapy Telephone Advice Line (020 8973 3512). 

To access advice, parents and young people over 14years+ should log a call initially through the telephone advice line to discuss their concerns with a therapist.  A referral for assessment can be made over the phone, following discussion, if it is felt it is appropriate and the child/young person meets criteria for assessment. 

To access the service the child must have a Richmond GP unless they attend a Richmond state maintained school or free school and have an EHCP in which case the referral will be accepted.  Consent must be obtained from the child’s parent or main caregiver.  Please call for advice regarding our acceptance criteria for children attending independent schools

Relevant professionals such as GP, health visitor, school nurse or another therapist can refer a child or young person for assessment using the referral form attached.

Referral form

Please return the referral to:

Hounslow & Richmond Community Healthcare NHS Trust
Children’s Therapy Services Admin Hub
Teddington Health & Social Care Centre
18 Queens Road
Teddington, TW11 0LR

Tel no 0208 973 3480
Fax no 0208 630 3354

Alternatively, referrals can be made electronically via HRCH.Childrens-Therapies@nhs.net  if being sent from another nhs.net account.

Please note the following about our non-attendance policy:

In order to minimise the impact of missed appointments, which increase wait times for users of our service, please note the department’s non-attendance policy: 

  • Initial appointments: If you do not attend your booked initial appointment, without contacting the service beforehand, you will be discharged immediately. 

  • Follow-up: If you do not attend your follow up appointment, without contacting the service beforehand, you will be given 10 days to contact the department before being discharged.

  • Groups: If you do not attend two consecutive sessions, without contacting the service beforehand, the remaining group appointments will be cancelled and you will be referred back to your therapist.

The team is based at Teddington Health and Social Care Centre.


Speech and Language Therapy Department
Teddington Health & Social Care Centre
18 Queens Road
TW11 0LR 

Telephone numbers

  • Richmond Speech and Language Therapy Telephone advice line: 020 8973 3512  

  • Richmond Speech and Language Therapy enquiries:  020 8614 5333

  • General enquiries / administration hub:  020 8973 3480

  • Children's SLT services manager - Claire Schneider. Tel: 020 8614 5331                                   

Opening times:

Clinics operate during office hours, and there is an answer phone to leave a message. Our admin hub team are available to take calls and enquires from parents and professional and are involved in booking initial appointments which is generally done by phone wherever possible.  Our speech and language therapists work across different clinics and settings in Richmond so are not in the same place all the time.  

Staff will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible. However due to day to day commitments and some staff working part time it may not be possible to get back to you immediately. Every effort is made to get back to you within 48 hrs.       

Richmond Speech & Language Therapy Team

Meet the team

  • Julie Hale - Divisional Manager 
    Tel: 020 8973 3181

  • Claire Schneider - Clinical Service Manager for Children’s Therapies
    Tel: 020 8614 5331

  • Early Years Team including Clinic, Early Help & Prevention & Feeding service
    Team Leads: Vanessa Gordon & Nicole Murray.
    Tel: 020 8614 5333

  • Mainstream Schools Team
    Team Lead: Claire Schneider covering maternity leave for Emma Machin
    Tel: 020 8614 5333

  • Special Schools & Units Team
    Team Leads: Katie Varney & Shelina Mitha
    Tel: 020 8614 5333

Useful Documents:

Let's Listen and Talk leaflet - for parents of children with hearing impairment. 

Achieving for Children Family Information Service   

Useful Links:

Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists 

Details of Children Centres within Richmond Borough 

Achieving For Children is a social enterprise company created by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames to provide their children’s services. On 1 August 2017, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead became a co-owner of AfC and they now deliver children’s services across all three boroughs. 

Portage - Portage is a home-visiting educational service for pre-school children with SEND and their families. Portage aims to:

  • Work with families to help them develop a quality of life and experience, for themselves and their young children, in which they can learn together, play together, participate and be included in their community in their own right.

  • Play a part in minimising the disabling barriers that confront young children and their families.

  • Support the national and local development of inclusive services for children. 

Local offer - information on local services and support available for families including children and young people aged 0 - 25 years with special educational needs or disabilities 

Kingston & Richmond SEND Family Voices -   a volunteer parent-led charity, formed in response to the opportunities offered by the SEND reforms; these are the changes in law which aim to create equal partnerships between families of children and young people with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) and the professional services.

Independent parent partnership - The Independent Support Partnership (ISP) can support you through the process of applying for a new Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan or the conversion from an existing statement to an EHC Plan if you live in the Richmond, Kingston and Hounslow boroughs. 

Independent Parental Special Education Advice  - This website has free resources to help families get the right education for children and young people with all kinds of special educational needs and/or disability (SEND).  

Local support groups: 

Small Steps is a charity based in Wandsworth that run conductive education group classes for pre-school children with physical disabilities.     

Me too and co is an independent Richmond-upon-Thames based charity that provides activities and therapies for children with disabilities and additional needs. They also support and provide therapies, courses and information for their whole families.  

Kids (Richmond and Kingston SENDIASS) is a free, confidential and impartial service for parents and carers, children and young people (up to 25 years).

National charities and support groups:

I Can - the children's communication charity.  I Can Help is a range of information services that provide help and advice to parents and practitioners about speech, language and communication. It includes a free call-back service with a speech and language therapist,

Talking Point's website is dedicated to speech and language, and ICAN's assessment services

Stammering.org - provide support to people who stammer, with an ambition for "a society where every person who stammers has as much chance of a full and rewarding life as anyone else".

Afasic website provides lots of information and supports families in getting the right help for children and young people with SLCN and all related queries.

The Communication Trust is a coalition of over 50 not-for-profit organisations. Working together they support everyone who works with children and young people in England to support their speech, language and communication. 

Contact a Family is a national charity working to provide information, advice and support to families. They run events for families and children with disabilities, advise on legal or financial support and have a useful database of specific condition support groups. 

Special Kids in the UK aim to bring families together for friendship, to share information and to support one another via their online forums and regular events throughout the country.

Local and upcoming events: 

RUILS Family support groups - RUILS are a charity providing support to parents and carers in the Richmond borough. They provide regular coffee drop ins for families with children who have disabilities and/or additional needs on the 4th Tuesday of every month. You can pop in, have a coffee, and meet other families. Ruils staff are on hand to provide answers to any questions you may have.  

Me too and co - offer different events, activities, talks, workshops, clinic & therapies:

  • Reflections and Redlees Stay and Play Sessions: Drop in stay and play sessions in Feltham and Isleworth for children and young people with special needs and their families. There is a relaxing white room, a ball pool, soft play area and garden for you to enjoy. Sessions run weekly, Sundays and throughout the school holidays.

Charitable funding:

Action for Kids is a charity that helps young people with physical and learning disabilities across the country find greater levels of independence and opportunity through the provision of mobility aids, employability training and family support. 

Always look on the Bright Side of Life Charitable Trust awards grants to make children smile. The trust awards one off grants to children in need for activities/ items (not household)/trips that children’s families are unable to afford. The child must be disadvantaged due to financial circumstances, disability/ill health or other category. 

Boparan Charitable Trust aims to help children and young people up to the age of 18, throughout the UK, who are disadvantaged either through poverty, disability or life-limiting conditions.  

Cash for Kids is Bauer Radio’s network of local charities, which operate across 22 areas around the UK. Our mission is to respond to the needs of children in our communities, and we aspire to enable all children to live life to the full and achieve their individual potential.  

Cauldwell Children offers a range of support to children with disabilities including family support, short breaks equipment, treatment and therapies. You can apply direct and the process is straightforward.

Children Today encourage applicants, usually parents, to come to them for funding and other services on a regular basis as their child’s needs change. Hopefully, this will continue as they grow and develop, gaining more independence and an improving quality of life that is also shared by all those around them. They will continue receiving support until the child reaches the age of 25 years.  

Cerebra is a unique national charity that strives to improve the lives of children with neurological conditions, through research, information and direct, on-going support. 

Dreams Come True is a UK children’s charity. Their mission is to enrich the lives of children and young people with serious and life-limiting conditions across the country by making their dreams come true. Over the last 25 years they have fulfilled dreams for more than 5,000 children and young people as well as their friends, family and carers.  

Family Fund will look at any grant request that relates to the needs of a disabled or seriously ill child, young person and their family.  

Happy Days Children's Charity supports families with children aged 3-17 who have learning difficulties, physical or mental disabilities, acute, chronic or life limiting illnesses, been abused or neglected, witnessed domestic violence, been bereaved or act as carers for a parent or a sibling. Eligible applicants can apply for the costs of the following activities: Day trips/theatre trips/theatre workshops and Group Activity Holidays.  

Just 4 Children is passionate about the relief of sickness and prevention of health of children in the UK and Ireland by providing and assisting in the provision of grants to enable them to obtain medical treatment, therapies, living environments, equipment and holidays which would  not otherwise be available to them. 

Local funders. There are a number of local funders such as Richmond Parish Lands Charity, Hampton Fuel Allotments and Barnes Workhouse Fund that offer grants to individuals and families particularly in relation to fuel grants, white goods and other household equipment and education. For a full list of the local funders.   

The Family Fund. If you are raising a disabled or seriously ill child, the family fund may be able to help with a grant for household items, equipment, sensory toys, a family break or something to help with college for 16/17 year olds. You can apply as a parent carer, or agencies can apply on their behalf.
The Family Holiday Association (FHA) supports families on a low income, that have not been on holiday for the past four years and have at least one child between three and 18 years of age can obtain financial support for a break during 2016 and 2017. The FHA can only accept applications from referring agents (such as a teacher, social worker or health visitor, etc) and not directly from families. The website also has a great resource page which lists other charities and trusts that can support holidays and short breaks.

The Henry Smith Charity (Richmond). People experiencing hardship or distress who live in Richmond, Ham, Petersham or Kew. Applications in writing from referring bodies such as citizen advice and social services.

Tree of Hope is the crowdfunding charity that helps children and young people with a disability or illness by supporting their families to raise the money they need to pay for specialist care that is not freely available through the UK healthcare system.  

Turn2us. A fantastic website that offers help and information for anyone experiencing financial hardship or debt problems, or who is looking for funding to support an individual need within the family such as a short break. It has a grant and benefits search engine which can be tailored to meet your requirements including locality, and a phone helpline that is free to call and gives you access to trained staff who can talk you through your options. The service is available to individuals and organisations acting on their behalf.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I park?

Teddington Health and Social Care Centre
18 Queens Road
TW11 0LR

  • Free parking for visitors for up to 4 hours. Visitors must get a free ticket from the machine and display in car. Free road parking is also available on Queen’s Road just outside Teddington Health and Social Care Centre. 

Sheen Lane Health Centre
Sheen Lane
SW14 8LP

  • Pay & Display parking


Centre House
68 Sheen Lane
SW14 8LP

  • Pay & Display parking


Ham Clinic
Ashburnham Road
TW10 7NF

  • Free parking available on site for visitors and free road parking nearby.


Whitton Corner Health and Social Care Centre
Percy Road

  • Free parking available on site for visitors and free road parking nearby.


Can I bring siblings?

Siblings are welcome to attend appointments. However, if it is possible to arrange childcare this can make the session easier for parents to talk to the therapist without distractions.  

Can I communicate by email with the therapist?

Yes, email communication is possible. Parental consent for sharing programmes and documents via email is required. 


  • ‘You are such an inspiration and your positivity and excellent modelling to all staff will stay with me.' 
    Richmond School

  • ‘Thanks Vanessa. You have been wonderful to work with, in all my various roles! Very good luck with keeping it all running. You and your team do amazing work.’  Achieving for Children

  • ‘I wanted to thank you for the session that you delivered to our STEPS team. It was fantastic and you covered everything that we could have asked for. The training and ideas have already been very useful and I have already been trying some of the ideas and techniques when visiting a couple of my families.'
    Community Nursery Nurse