A FLASH mob used Makaton* to perform Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now at Ealing Broadway shopping centre on Wednesday (27) to mark Speech and Language Awareness Month.

A record 1.9 million children have speech, language and communication needs (up from 1.7 million last year) while one in five children are behind with their talking and understanding of words.

The figures come in a report published by the charity Speech and Language UK.

Ealing Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) Services partnered with Ealing Council to co-ordinate the flash mob.

It included performers from Impact Theatre, Mencap, Springhallow School in Compton Close, Ealing, Mandeville School in Horsenden Lane North, Greenford, Ealing Anchor Foundation, children’s centres, private nurseries - and councillors.

The Mayor of Ealing, Cllr Hitesh Tailor, who took part, said it was a fun way of encouraging people to understand the services available to them.

Those taking part had only one practice session together.

A month of activities is planned to raise awareness, including among marginalised communities. There will be a drop-in at West Ealing Islamic Centre.

Speech and language therapist Marwa Sediq said: “We know Ealing is a diverse community with so many people from different backgrounds.

“That’s why for me, as a Muslim, it’s really important to raise awareness. I know there is a lack of understanding and taboo about it within my community.”

Keep up to date with Ealing Speech and Language Therapy group on Facebook and its YouTube channel.

*Makaton is a communication system that combines speech, sign and symbol.