Think you can take on and complete The Big Shh?

Can you keep quiet for a whole hour? Can you stop yourself from chatting with your family for 60 minutes? That is the challenge of The Big Shh!

This August, we’re asking you to set a certain amount of time – maybe 1 hour a day for 1 week of the summer, it’s up to you – and remain completely silent for that period.

Why not do it at the same time as your brother, sister or friends – and see who lasts the longest?

This challenge is a fun summer activity, and by asking people to sponsor you for keeping quiet, you can raise much-needed funds for our charity and help the people with autism that we support.

Although we’re mainly aiming it at children, the challenge is open to anyone wanting to take part, so feel free to join in. Parents, this is a great chance for you to enjoy an hour of calm, so encourage your children to take part and start getting sponsored today.

There is a serious side to this challenge too. We want to encourage children to think about those people who have difficulty communicating verbally (with spoken words) and think about what it might be like not to be able to speak to others whenever you want to communicate.

Communication can be difficult for some people with autism and each individual will have certain communication methods that they prefer to use. Some people use picture cards or electronic devices to help them ask for things they need, while others have learnt to sign using languages such as Makaton.

During the summer we’re going to be sharing some easy Makaton signs that you can learn and practice while doing The Big Shh!. Taking part in this challenge can help children understand how hard it can be for those who find it difficult or are unable to communicate through speech.

  • Join in The Big Shh! any time throughout August 2020
  • Adapt the length of time you need to stay silent to suit you best
  • Ask people to sponsor you £1 for every hour you can keep quiet in one day or spread out your challenge over a week/month and see if you can keep quiet for 2-3 hours a day, or whatever you prefer…

To register your interest in taking part and to receive your fundraising pack, please complete the form below. If you are under 18 years old, you must ask a parent/guardian to complete the form for you. If there are a few people taking part, you will need to complete the form for each individual.

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Your Registration Pack

Once you have registered, we will send you a pack with all the things you will need to start your challenge, including: welcome letter, sponsorship forms, Makaton signs, ‘I Can’t Talk Poster’ and some forms for a parent/guardian to complete if they wish including Gift Aid, keeping in touch and photo permissions.


Whilst taking part in your challenge, why not learn a few Makaton signs to help get you through. Makaton is a type of sign language that some people with autism use as their way of communicating with the world. It becomes their voice and is vital for them to express their wants and needs.

We will send you a few examples of words that you might use during your challenge, we will also post a few videos on our Facebook page with different examples too. Why not search for some Makaton signs that may come in handy when you take on your challenge?

How to get sponsorship and send your money to us

An easy way to gather sponsorship, when it might be harder to visit people, is to create a JustGiving page or set up a Facebook Fundraiser (your parent/guardian can do this for you). This can then be shared through social media or via text message or email, with a link to your fundraising page for friends and family. People can donate to this directly and you don’t need to gather the money in yourself.

We will include in your registration pack some sponsorship forms too if you would like to use these with people that you can see at the moment. Money or cheques can then be dropped off at our main office. Alternatively, you can get in touch and we can let you know the details for our donations account so you can transfer the money directly.

We hope you’ll get involved, have fun, learn about Makaton and help raise some money for Autism Together.