Our Trustees

Jane is Research Fellow in Public Leadership at The Open University Business School.

Professionally, Jane is a medical doctor and is an Honorary Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist in London with experience of senior healthcare management in the NHS.

Jane was Leader of the London Borough of Camden Council in the early 2000’s following which she has served in a range of non-executive roles including as Chair of the Councillors Commission for the Department of Communities and Local Government, Chair of Parenting UK, a member of the Ofsted board, Chair of New Local Government Network and currently Chair of the charity, Living Streets. She is a member of the Independent Remuneration Board of the Senedd, and of the Advisory Group of the Welsh Centre for Public Policy. She was appointed DBE 2004.

Jane has published a number of academic articles in paediatrics, psychiatry and politics. She co-edited ‘The Politics of Attachment’ (1996) with Sebastian Kraemer and is the author of ‘Losing Political Office’ (2017).

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.

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.

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.

Richard was appointed as Chief Executive of The King’s Fund in January 2019, after five years as the Director of Policy. The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care and combines research, policy analysis, leadership development and provides a place for people to meet and discuss the big health and care issues.

Before joining the Fund in January 2014, Richard was chief analyst at NHS England and previously held a number of roles at the Department of Health, including director of strategy, director of financial planning and chief economist.

Richard initially trained as an economist and spent five years in academia before joining the Department of Health as an economic adviser. Following this he spent four years as a health care specialist at McKinsey & Co before returning to the Department of Health.

Anya is a digital marketing and technology leader who has spent 25 years working for global companies like Google, WPP and Yahoo!, across three continents.

Having stammered since she was 6, she was offered an adult place at the Michael Palin Centre (MPC) 10 years ago – since then she has co-authored a chapter of a book on the use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in adults who stammer, with her speech therapist at MPC.
For a number of years, she has served as a mentor in the annual summer intensive course at MPC for teens and young adults, and has also participated in their interview practice sessions.

She holds a postgraduate certification in Psychology, and has taken part in several neurological research studies into stammering at academic institutions in both the UK and the US.

Zain has been a volunteer of ASC since 2015 and has been involved in the Youth Panel and being the Volunteer Programme Lead for the Northern Youth Panel. Zain has had a stammer from a young age, and has achieved many successes, of which one highlight was being selected as a cast member on the Chanel 5 Star Documentary “My Extreme Stammer and Me”. Zain plays a proactive role in stammering awareness in everything he does and with everyone he encounters.

Zain currently has an undergraduate degree in Sports, Physical Activity & Health, has been a circus-style entertainer for over 10 years and currently works as a Staying Well worker in Calderdale – working to improve health and wellbeing of communities as well as being responsible for micro-commissioning funds and supporting adults on a 1:1 basis to reduce isolation and loneliness.


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