Chief Executive, Phil Pyatt, tells us about his first year at ASC

Well, it’s been over a year now since I became Chief Executive of Action for Stammering Children, and time has really flown by!  Running this small, but far reaching charity has been a great honour, supported by a fantastic new team made up of Alanna and Joe, our very supportive and hardworking chair Jo Hunter, and the charity’s trustees.  It’s been a really positive year, but we know there is much more to do!  Here are some of the highlights:

Michael Palin Centre (MPC)

Our partnership with the Michael Palin Centre continues to strengthen, and it’s fantastic to be based in the same building. This allows us to see the amount of children, young people and their families that are helped through the professionalism and expertise of the MPC, and how life changing their help and support can be.  The Charity has continued to support the MPC by funding over 285 initial assessments, a range of therapy places, a designated helpline, and the training of speech and language therapists from across the UK. I would like to say a huge thank you to Elaine Kelman and her team at the MPC for all of their work!

Residential – North Yorkshire and Staffordshire

ASC also ran a residential in North Yorkshire in October 16 and 17 for young people who stammer from the North of England, and one in Staffordshire in May this year for 10 young people from the North West and surrounding area.  The week long activity took many of the young people outside their comfort zone, mixing daunting tasks like high ropes, and canoeing whilst incorporating speech and language therapy.  Many of the young people came out of the week more confident, with many mentioning that they had not previously met another person that stammers, and many new friendships were formed.

I was fortunate to visit the last day of both residential courses with ASC’s chair Jo Hunter and my colleague Alanna Byrne, to hear inspiring presentations from the young people about their week and the challenges they faced.

Read more here

ASC Youth Panel

The ASC Youth Panel has been going from strength to strength, and I am particularly proud and grateful for their contribution to the charity.  A collection of bright young people aged 13 – 25 who stammer from across the UK, they come together about 5 times a year to help the charity reach more young people that stammer.  In March they launched their new website www.ascyouthpanel.com to the charity’s trustees and two of its Vice Presidents, Colin Firth and Ed Balls, through a presentation highlighting their work. They spoke about how they are using the new website, coupled with different social media channels to sign up more young people across the UK that stammer as ASC Youth Ambassadors.  They have more exciting plans for the year ahead, and can’t wait to get started!

Read more here

New look – logo and website

In May, thanks to pro-bono support, the charity launched its new look with a new logo and updated Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages.  In addition, to coincide with this year’s International Stammering Awareness Day (ISAD), we have just launched our new website, providing even more information for parents/carers, children/young people, SLTs, teachers and our many supporters who raise much needed funds to make it possible to continue to deliver all of this life changing work.  We hope you like it, and watch this space for more developments on the website over the next 12 months.

Check it out here

Stammering Network – ‘Stammering Therapy Changes Lives’

ASC chairs the ‘Stammering Network’, a collection of seven organisations that work in the area of stammering.  To coincide with International Stammering Awareness Day in 2016, we held an event at Speaker’s House called ‘Stammering Therapy Changes Lives’ with inspirational speeches from the Speaker himself, John Bercow, ASC Vice President Ed Balls, as well as some young people including Joe from the ASC Youth Panel.

Read more here

Our ASC Vice Presidents

Our well-known Vice Presidents continue to be hugely supportive.  From Michael Palin visiting children and young people at the Centre, to Ed Balls and his unwavering commitment to stammering, and Colin Firth, helping raise much needed funds for the charity through arranging a pre-release screening of the latest ‘Kingsman’ film. On behalf of everyone connected with the charity, we are hugely appreciative!

The Year Ahead

None of this is possible without the support of the many trusts, foundations and corporates that support our work, or the generosity of the many individuals in the ASC community who raise much needed funds and awareness through a multitude of fun fundraising activities.

We know as a charity we have a lot more to do and we are working hard to fundraise and undertake projects that will help more of the children and young people across the UK who stammer!

Thanks again for all you support!

Phil Pyatt, Chief Executive

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