Our Trustees

Jo first volunteered at ASC in 2008 as Treasurer, and has been committed ever since, witnessing first-hand the transformative work of the Charity, and was elected Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2014.   Jo trained at PricewaterhouseCoopers specialising in audit and taxation and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and has a wide range of Charity and business experience.  She is also Co-Founder and Treasurer of Smart Works Charity.

David became Treasurer of the Charity in April 2014, and has had first-hand experience of the work of the Charity having attended the intensive therapy course at the Michael Palin Centre in 2012 with his son Thomas.  He is a chartered accountant and currently the head of internal audit at a credit rating agency. He has worked in a number of global companies across the financial services sector.

Recently retired, Will was a media lawyer starting out in music at EMI Records in 1980 before moving across to film and video in 1981. Has since been Head of Legal and Business Affairs at Thorn EMI Films, Embassy Home Entertainment, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Majestic Films, Intermedia Films, the UK Film Council and is currently Director of Business Affairs at the British Film Institute. He was a child who stammered and has in the last 30 years managed to almost eradicate his stammer.

Samira is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years’ experience.  She joined Front Row in 2014, and also presents Newswatch on BBC1, Something Understood on Radio 4 and The Proms on BBC4 and makes documentaries for BBC radio and television, and also contributes to newspapers including The Guardian. She won a Stonewall Broadcast of the year award while at Channel 4 News, and has been a reporter on Newsnight and the Today programme, and has a son who has attended the Michael Palin Centre.

Gerald became a Trustee of the Charity in February 2013, focusing at the time on the engagements with the Leeds Stammering Centre. Gerald is a clutterer, which is a type of stammer and has been a patient of the Leeds Centre, along with his son Thomas, who has also received specialist help with both speech and language development from the age of 3. Born in France, Gerald worked for the  Intel holding several positions over some 17 years, including head of financial services for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia.  He recently joined HID Global as Vice President Channel Sales, Physical Access Control Solutions.

Arthur first came to the ASC for the treatment of his Stammer in 1995. As someone who has had their life totally transformed by the work of the Charity, he has remained involved in any way he can, including acting as a mentor to some of the young people at the Michael Palin Centre.  He became a trustee of the Charity in 2016. In his professional life, Arthur is a management consultant for PwC.

Oliver first came to ASC for treatment of his stammer in 1991, helping open the Michael Palin Centre in 1993, before becoming a Trustee in 2008. He joined Fremantle as Group Director of Communications and Marketing, one of the biggest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of award-winning, high-profile television brands in the world – from Got Talent to My Brilliant Friend, The X Factor to The Young Pope, Idols to American Gods, The Price is Right to The Apprentice.

Previously, Oliver was Group Communications Director, with global responsibility for public policy, corporate affairs, media relations and internal communication Guardian Media Group in 2012.  Alongside his ASC trusteeship, Oliver is also a Trustee of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, and the Bristol Old Vic.

Vicky is Senior Consultant Speech and language therapist at the Children’s Neurosciences Centre at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Kings College London, and leads the multi-disciplinary service for children with complex neurodevelopmental disorders.  She has served on several committees including the Research Autism: Scientific and Advisory Board (NAS), and is also clinical advisor to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Balshen was previously Chief Executive of ASC and later joined the Board in 2018. She has been supporting the Charity since 2008 when she was working for former MP, Ed Balls, who has a stammer. During her time as ASC Chief Executive, she set up the ASC Youth Panel and the Stammering Network. She currently works at the Gambling Commission as Head of Public Affairs and Head of Communications for the the 4th National Lottery Licence Competition. 

Anne is a Speech and language therapist by background and has 28 years’ experience in the NHS and charitable sector as clinician, service manager and commissioner. She is currently Executive Director of Strategy, Business Development and Workforce for NEL Commissioning Support Unit, an NHS organisation of over 1,200 staff providing a wide range of services including ICT, Business Intelligence and consultancy services in support of NHS clinical commissioning and providers across London and the South East.


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