Did you know?

... some children mask their stammer by avoiding speaking and saying less in class


What you say

We would like to say a very big 'Thank You' to you all for your support, in such a caring and patient way over the past two weeks.  We are extremely grateful to have been given this opportunity.  The Michael Palin Centre is a very special place.

Parent of a teenager

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Latest News


Ed Balls appointed vice-president of Action for Stammering Children

Ed Balls has been appointed vice-president of Action for Stammering Children (ASC), the UK charity which supports children and young people who stammer.  The former Labour MP and Shadow Chancellor has been a supporter of the charity for many years and regularly meets children and young people to talk about the challenges of living with a stammer.  He is an active fundraiser for the charity, running marathons and speaking at fundraising events.   His book Speaking Out addresses his personal journey and the challenges he faces in public life of having a stammer.

Commenting on his appointment, Ed said: 

"I was thrilled to be asked to become a vice-president of ASC, a brilliant charity which I have been involved with for many years.  It’s important that children and young people who stammer see people in public life who have managed to overcome their stammer, so that they know it doesn’t have to hold you back or stop you doing the things you want to do."

Action for Stammering Children funds specialist assessments and therapy for children who stammer at the Michael Palin Centre in London, as well as intensive courses, training for speech and language therapists, and research into the causes and treatment of stammering in children.   Ed Balls joins two other high profile figures as vice-presidents of the charity  – Michael Palin and Colin Firth.   ASC Chair Jo Hunter said:

 "Most people know Ed Balls as a politician but we know him as someone who gives his time generously to talk to children and young people about stammering, The misconceptions of having a stammer are still very much embedded into society and Ed’s public role has helped address these misconceptions giving children and their families belief that no child should be held back because of their stammer"

Ed Balls is currently a Senior Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Visiting Professor at King’s College London.  He is also Chairman of Norwich City Football Club.

Charitably funded training courses and supervision bursaries available for 2016/17

For the fifth year running, Action for Stammering Children and The Emily Hughes Hallett Fund are offering individual charitably-funded bursaries to qualified speech and language therapists in the UK who are interested in developing their skills in working with children under 7 who stammer. They are also supporting three Palin PCI training courses to be held around the UK, in particular to those for whom travel costs for training in London would be prohibitive.

Click here to find out more about the individual charitably-funded bursaries.

Click here to find out more about the Palin PCI training courses. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

Schools campaign

Young people who stammer often struggle at school because there is so little information available about stammering and how best to respond.  The ASC Youth Panel members hope that by talking about their own experience they will improve people's understanding of the condition and make it easier for other young people who stammer to receive the support they need.  If you would like your own school to be involved in the campaign, please contact ASC on facebook or call 0203 316 8113.

We're hiring- Chief Executive at Action for Stammering Children

We are currently embarking on a new stage of development and are looking for a dynamic chief executive to lead this exciting challenge. The successful candidate will have strong leadership skills combined with hands-on delivery skills, proven experience of partnership working, and a commitment to supporting children and young people who stammer and their families. This is an ideal role for a self-motivated individual looking to make a positive impact in an important area of children’s communication, where timely intervention can be life changing.

For more information about the role go to the Charity Jobs website

The Third Croatian Clinical Symposium to be held in Cavtat, Croatia between 2-5 October 2016

The third Croatian Clinical Symposium is to be held in Cavtat, Croatia between 2-5 October 2016.

The Symposium is designed to attract clinicians and researchers with the theme of stuttering research informing practice.

The 2016 Symposium will pursue that theme, with topics that immediately and directly influence clinical practice.

To view the brochure click here.

ACTION FOR STAMMERING CHILDREN'S CO-FOUNDER, TRAVERS REID, RECIEVES PRESTIGIOUS HONORARY AWARD

**PRESS RELEASE 27 AUGUST 2015**

Action for Stammering Children’s (ASC) co-founder and Life President, Travers Reid, has received an Honorary Fellowship from the notable Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT).

Since 1945 the RCSLT has used its annual honours awards to acknowledge the achievements of its members and those who have contributed outstanding services to speech and language therapy. 

This year (2015), the RCSLT has chosen ASC’s co-founder and Life President, Travers Reid.  Travers was a prominent businessman and is co-founder of Action for Stammering Children. His experiences of childhood stammering convinced him of the need for a centre to help children who stammer which has now become the world renowned centre for excellence in therapy for children and young people who stammer, the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering.

The Honorary Fellowship award acknowledges and honours non speech and language therapists (SLTs) and SLTs from overseas who have contributed outstanding services to speech and language therapy and for the benefit of those with communication disabilities. Holders in this category can use the designatory letters 'Hon FRCSLT' after their names.

In receiving this honour, Travers Reid, has said:

Being a lifelong stammerer I had always  hoped that I could do something to help the many children who suffered with the same disability as me. When I retired from business I finally had the opportunity to fulfil my dream. Little did I realise when I first set up the organisation so many years ago that it would grow into the centre of excellence it has become.

I was very fortunate to work with so many talented and dedicated people to achieve my goal.

I am honoured and delighted to receive this Honorary Fellowship from the RCSLT.

The Head of the Michael Palin Centre, Elaine Kelman, consultant speech and language therapist, made this wonderful honour possible by nominating Travers, and she said:

This award marks the unique contribution made to the world of stammering by this very special man. Travers has stammered throughout his life and received no therapy, but he was anxious that today’s children should receive the help that he would have found so beneficial. Without his vision and dedication, this national service for children who stammer would not exist. Travers was also instrumental in Michael Palin’s involvement with the charity, culminating in the Centre bearing Michael’s name.  Travers shows his genuine commitment and interest by visiting the Centre regularly, sharing his experiences with the children and their parents, providing an inspirational role model. His contribution to speech and language therapy services for children who stammer is unquantifiable and fully deserving of this special recognition

The Charity is delighted its co-founder, Travers, has been acknowledged with such an accolade and the Chief Executive, Balshen Izzet, said:

“It fills us with tremendous pride that the Charity’s co-founder, Travers Reid, remains a significant presence in the speech and language community.  Travers’ commitment and dedication, particularly to children and young people who stammer, is incredibly inspiring.  Without his foresight and enthusiasm 25 years ago to form the Charity and support services in speech and language therapy for children who stammer, we may not have had the Michael Palin Centre.

Travers remains a huge presence at the Charity and we are very grateful for all his support in the work we do to help reach as many children and young people in the UK who stammer.”

The RCSLT will be presenting the award to Travers at their annual award ceremony at the University of Warwick in October 2015.  Maria Luscombe, Chair of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists said:

“We are delighted to award Travers Reid an honorary fellowship for his contribution to speech and language therapy. Over almost 25 years he has championed the profession by working to ensure that all children who stammer are able to communicate to the best of their ability, thus realising their full potential. This dedication and continued support has made him an inspirational role model both to children who stammer and their families and speech and language therapists.”

For media enquiries please contact: Balshen Izzet on Bizzet@stammeringcentre.org or call 020 3316 8113

Notes to editors:

1)      Action for Stammering Children (ASC) commissions the delivery of specialist services that transform the lives of children and young people who stammer at the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children.

2)      The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK - http://www.rcslt.org/

3)      Travers Reid is the Life President and Co-Founder of Action for Stammering Children, the charity which he founded with Lena Rustin in 1991. His lifelong experience of stammering motivated him to set up the charity to help children who stammer in the UK. Travers was then responsible for involving Michael Palin, which led to the naming and opening of the Centre in 1993

4)      Stammering is a severe communication disability which impairs social, emotional and educational development. Estimates suggest that 5% of children will stammer at some point and approximately 1% continue to stammer into adulthood. Stammering is 3 to 4 times more common in boys than in girls. While stammering is outwardly characterised by repetitions, prolongations and blocking of sounds, these core behaviours can be accompanied by feelings of isolation, frustration and embarrassment

5)      Over the last 10 years, ASC has committed £1 million to pioneering research

6)      ASC has supported 3,000 children in the last year by supporting training of up to 500 speech and language therapists

7)      Almost 150,000 children and young people in the UK have a persistent stammer

 

Charitably-funded support to develop your skills

For the fourth year running, Action for Stammering Children and the Emily Hughes-Hallett (EHH) fund are supporting Palin Parent Child Interaction (PCI) training courses around the UK, particularly in areas from which accessing London-based courses is more difficult.  If your team is interested in hosting a two-day Palin PCI course in 2015/early 2016, contact sarah.caughter@nhs.net  before 30 September. Participants will be required to contribute £50 each. Individual charitably-funded bursaries are also available, offering free supervision to therapists seeking to develop skills in working with children under seven who stammer. To apply for an individual EHH bursary, please complete an application form and email this to karen.fenton1@nhs.net before 30 September.

Action for Stammering Children joins RunforCharity.com

Action for Stammering Children (ASC) has some exciting news for you all.

We are constantly being asked by our supporters, if we can secure places for them to participate in some of the hundreds of running and cycling events that take place all across the country, to raise money on behalf of ASC.

We are pleased to announce that ASC has joined www.runforcharity.com, which is a platform that allows people to search for charities to run on behalf of, as well as events to take part in.

Events include The Spartan Run, Bear Grylls Survival Race, Run to the Beat and The Colour Run, to name just a few.

To keep the Charity’s costs to a minimum we would ask that you pay a small registration fee that is levied to enter the event. ASC will then provide you with everything you need to reach our fundraising target of £250 (depending on the event). From our experience, our fundraisers can smash that, easily!

So, if you or maybe a brave team of you from school or work want to tackle some serious obstacle courses or just take part in some of UK’s most popular sporting events to help transform the lives of children who stammer, you can get started here www.runforcharity.com

Don’t forget, this is all in aid of ASC’s Unlock a Child’s Voice appeal. We are aiming to raise £1.5 million over the next three years to reach 10,000 children who stammer and we know we can get there with your help.

Good luck and happy fundraising.

Best-Selling Author, Professor Paul Dolan, Hosts Stuttering Into Happiness Event for Action For Stammering Children

Action for Stammering Children (ASC) is delighted to be part of an evening hosted by Professor Paul Dolan, a behavioural scientist at the London School of Economics who has a stammer.  The event, ‘Stuttering into Happiness...An Evening with Professor Paul Dolan’, is tonight (Monday 11th May) at the Shaw Library at London School of Economics.

Professor Paul Dolan is the best-selling author of the 2014 debut book, Happiness By Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think and is a recognised expert in happiness and human behaviour.  He will be sharing with audience members an informative and personal account of living with a stammer.

Paul will be joined by Elaine Kelman, Head of Specialty at the Michael Palin Centre, the Centre devoted to speech and language therapy for children who stammer, where Paul underwent transformative specialist therapy.

Proceeds from the evening will go to Action for Stammering Children to support expert therapy to transform and improve the lives of children who stammer. 

Speaking about the event, Balshen Izzet, Chief Executive of Action for Stammering Children, said: 

“We are absolutely delighted that Professor Paul Dolan will be sharing his powerful and inspiring story about living with a stammer. We are proud he is spreading the message that living with a stammer should be no barrier to living a happy and fulfilling life, of which he is living proof.

“Stammering can cause many children to hold back from simple things other children may take for granted like  raising their hand in class. Professor Dolan’s message breaks down insecurities and underpins Action for Stammering Children’s core belief in improving the confidence of those who stammer and valuing their contribution.”

For media enquiries please contact: Balshen Izzet on Bizzet@stammeringcentre.org or call 020 3316 8113

Notes to Editors: 

1)      Action for Stammering Children (ASC) commissions the delivery of specialist services that transform the lives of children and young people who stammer

2)      Stammering is a severe communication disability which impairs social, emotional and educational development. Estimates suggest that 5% of children will stammer at some point and approximately 1% continue to stammer into adulthood

3)      Stammering is 3 to 4 times more common in boys than in girls

4)      Stammering is outwardly characterised by repetitions, prolongations and blocking of sounds, these core behaviours can be accompanied by feelings of isolation, frustration and embarrassment

5)      Almost 150,000 children and young people in the UK have a persistent stammer

6)       ‘Stuttering into Happiness...An Evening with Professor Paul Dolan’ takes place tonight, Monday 11th May 18:30 - 20:00

7)      Tickets can be bought here: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/stuttering-into-happinessa-evening-with-professor-paul-dolan-tickets-16278801333?aff=es2

8)      The venue is Shaw Library (6th floor of the Old Building) Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE

9)      More information about Happiness by Design: Change What You Do, Not How You Think is available here

10)   Professor Paul Dolan can be followed on Twitter @HappinessBD

11)   Action for Stammering Children’s latest appeal Unlock a Child’s Voice aims to raise  £1.5m over three years to  pay for more support and training for specialist speech and language therapy, helping ASC to achieve its goal of reaching every child in the UK who stammers

12) The hashtag on Twitter for the appeal is #UnlockaChildsVoice

Speech Pathology Australia respond

The senior staff at the Michael Palin Centre wrote to Speech Pathology Australia expressing concerns about the proposal to the Australian Federal Government to fund one therapy approach for young children who stammer. Scroll down to see the details of the concerns from around the world. Click here to see the SPA response.