Plain English Awards for Ireland

The winners of the Plain English Awards for Ireland, sponsored by Mason Hayes & Curran, were announced by the National Adult Literacy Agency in Dublin on the 9th February 2017.

The independent judges were very impressed with how all the winners communicated directly to the intended reader through language that was easy to read and understand. The Heartbeat Trust are thrilled with the recognition of their continued effort in raising public awareness of heart failure and are delighted with their winning entry in the Health Posters & Bookmarks category. The organisers felt that the poster highlights in a clear and understandable manner, the main symptoms of heart failure.Nala Awards Website

The poster was designed by Dr Ciara Keane, Project Manager of the Heartbeat Trust after realising that clear, concise information was needed to help in the fight against heart failure and prevention of heart failure. Recognising the main symptoms of heart failure is vital in diagnoses and a key factor in raising public awareness. With this in mind, Dr Keane set about communicating these symptoms through visual design and the result was our winning entry.

The Winning Poster:Poster main symptoms heart failure = Shortness of breath Swollen ankles legs Sudden weight gain Palpitations Poor Appetite Tiredenss.

The Plain English Awards are organised by the National Adult Literacy Agency and sponsored by leading law firm Mason Hayes & Curran. The Awards were presented at a Gala Dinner in the Law Society of Ireland, Dublin.

Speaking about the awards, Inez Bailey, CEO, National Adult Literacy Agency said: “We developed these awards as we want to create a public preference for organisations that choose to communicate in plain English. We were delighted to get so many entries from organisations around the country as everyone benefits from clear information, written in plain English. We would like to congratulate EirGrid, Director of Public Prosecutions, Down Syndrome Ireland, Pavee Point and the Marie Keating Foundation, The Heartbeat Trust, Bord Gais, the Irish Lung Fibrosis Association and  They have won this award for thinking of the people who use their service and putting them first.”

Commenting on the sponsorship, Declan Black, Managing Partner at Mason Hayes & Curran said: “As a law firm we are delighted to be promoting the use of plain English rather than legal gobbledegook! Our approach at Mason Hayes & Curran is to ensure that our legal advice is always clear and accurate, particularly when complex issues are being explained. The use of plain English is aligned with that approach.  We hope that our support of this award contributes to the use of plain language in everyday communications and we congratulate the winners on a job well done.”

Plain English is a style of presenting information that helps you understand it the first time you read or see it. It involves short clear sentences, and using everyday words and imagery. It is particularly important to provide information in plain English for people with literacy difficulties.

The Heartbeat Trust are delighted with the award and hope to continue creating public information with NALA guidelines in mind. They have recently developed the Heart Failure Education Pack and Toolkit which has also been approved by NALA.

The education pack can be found here.