Our Vice Presidents

Michael Palin has been involved with Action for Stammering Children since 1993 when he agreed to the Michael Palin Centre being named after him following his role in “A Fish Called Wanda”, in which he portrayed a character called Ken who stammered. He based the role on his own father who suffered from stammering all his life. Michael’s continued support and involvement has helped create a high profile for the Centre and we are very fortunate to have him.

Ed Balls was appointed vice-president of Action for Stammering Children in 2016.  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.

Colin Firth became involved with the Charity following his role as King George VI in ‘The King’s Speech.’ He says, “The King’s Speech taught me not only the cruelty of having a stammer but also the life-changing benefits specialist therapy can bring. Just as Lionel Logue unleashed the passion of a king, so too Action for Stammering Children is unlocking the potential of thousands of children in the UK every year.”

Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett was Chair of ASC for ten years. Formerly, Chief Executive of Marie Curie and Chair of Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Sir Thomas also co-founded the Marshall Institute for Philanthropy at the London School of Economics. In 2021, Sir Thomas was appointed Chair of the John Innes Centre.

Jo Hunter first became involved with ASC in 2008 as Treasurer, and has been committed ever since, witnessing first-hand the transformative work of the Charity. She was Chair of the Board of Trustees from 2014 to 2021 in which time the Charity helped more than 30,000 children and young people. 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 was also Co-Founder of Smart Works Charity and was awarded an OBE in 2019 for her charity work.


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