Our History

Behind every great charity is someone with the drive and determination to make a difference and help others. For Action for Stammering Children that person was Travers Reid, a lifelong stammerer and successful businessman, who was determined to provide help to children and young people who stammer throughout the UK.

Travers founded the charity in 1989 along with the late Dr Lena Rustin, an internationally recognised speech and language therapist.

In 1993, the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children was founded as a national specialist centre, initially employing one part-time speech and language therapist.  Move forward to 2018, and there are now 14 specialist therapists supported by a small administrative team.

Action for Stammering Children is extremely proud of the high standard of professionalism and dedication of the team, and as a Charity we continue to support the Michael Palin Centre in the areas that the NHS are unable to fund.

Our timeline


Travers Reid founds Action for Stammering Children along with the late Dr Lena Rustin, an internationally recognised speech and language therapist.


Michael Palin opens the The Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children in the Finsbury Health Centre in London.  Michael’s continued support and involvement has contributed to the success of the Centre.


The Stammering Information Programme, funded by the Department of Children, Schools and Families, and created by staff at the Centre was launches in 2009 by Ed Balls, Secretary of State.



His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales becomes patron of a Charity appeal to expand services across the country.

The Charity expands services in the north of England and supports its first residential course in the Yorkshire and Humber region


Action for Stammering Children secures a new  permanent home  for the Michael Palin Centre and purchases and refurbishes premises in Pine Street in London,  allowing therapy and training services to be expanded.


Actor Colin Firth becomes a Charity Vice President, his portrayal of George VI in The King’s Speech does a huge amount to provide greater insight and awareness of the impact a stammer can have.


The Charity funds a new extension for the Michael Palin Centre, the Lena Rustin Wing,  which considerably extends and significantly improves the facilities available, allowing more therapy and teaching.



ASC launches the ASC Youth Panel, 15 young people aged 15 – 25 from across the UK who get together regularly to give them a voice within the charity, and reach out to other young people who stammer.

ASC helps launch the Stammering Network at Speakers House, and continues to act as chair.


Former Shadow Chancellor and Strictly star Ed Balls becomes a Charity Vice President, Ed has been a keen supporter and regular visitor for many years.


ASC rebrand with an all-new logo and website.

We continue our projects nationwide to reach more young people who stammer.


ASC launches our Stambassadors project – bringing people who stammer from the world of careers and connecting them to young people who stammer.


Action for Stammering Children celebrates our thirty-year anniversary with a range of exciting festivities, including our ‘Strictly’ night in which 11 couples took to the floor for a night of dancing and fun. Guest judges included Strictly-star Ed Balls.


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