Chair of Trustees, Joanna Hunter OBE, is stepping down next year.

The Charity, Action for Stammering Children is paying tribute to its Chair of Trustees, Joanna Hunter OBE, as it announces that she will be stepping down next year. Joanna joined the board of Action for Stammering Children in 2008 as Treasurer and was elected Chair of the Charity in 2014. She will step down in March 2021 once her successor has been appointed. 

Joanna brought with her years of experience in the business and charity sector and, under her guidance, the Charity has raised just under £8 million and supported over 50,000 children and young people who stammer. During the period of her tenure, she played a pivotal role in purchasing the freehold to premises for the Charity in Clerkenwell, London securing the permanent home and future of the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering Children.  She has been a keen advocate of the Michael Palin Centre supporting them in thriving and growing into the internationally renowned Centre it now is.  She has driven new programmes such as the establishment of the Youth Panel, ensuring that young people are at the heart of everything the Charity does, and the successful Stambassadors programme which has provided role models to young people.  She has expanded the reach of support across the country through the outward bound residential programmes, training and research.

Vice President of the Charity, Sir Michael Palin said, “It’s sad news that Jo Hunter is stepping down as Chair of ASC.  I’ve hugely appreciated her support for the work of The Michael Palin Centre, and her willingness to join in with our various activities, and to be a constant, reliable and always encouraging presence for the children, the therapists, our paymasters and myself. We’ll miss her greatly, and thank her enormously.”

Action for Stammering Children Chief Executive Steven Gauge said, “Jo has been a phenomenal Chair and working with her has been a delight. She is a very active Chair, which for a small charity like ours has been absolutely vital. She fizzes with energy and has rolled up her sleeves to get involved whenever it was needed. She leaves the Charity in extremely good shape to face the challenges ahead.”

Head of the Michael Palin Centre, Elaine Kelman said, “Jo Hunter has served the community of children who stammer and their families whole-heartedly for the past twelve years as trustee and then Chair of Action for Stammering Children. Her commitment to make a difference to these children’s lives has never faltered and she has given her time and energy tirelessly and graciously, sharing her financial expertise, her wealth of experience and her warmth and enthusiasm.  She has personally driven many initiatives that have resulted in funding for so many children to receive specialist therapy, as well as financing the well-equipped facility of the Michael Palin Centre, from which expert services have been delivered. The charity was formed to help children who stammer and Jo could not have done more to support this life-changing endeavour.”

The outgoing Chair of Trustees, Joanna Hunter said, “It’s never easy to leave a role you love, and I shall cherish my time with the charity. I’ve certainly learnt a great deal, and I feel privileged to have been able to play a part in changing children’s lives, working with a wonderful, passionate and committed team. In turn, I hope that I have been able to make a contribution that will sustain well beyond my time with the Charity.  In moving on, I will really miss working with everyone involved, but as a passionate and committed supporter, I look forward to seeing the Charity continue to flourish”.

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