Our People

A lecture theatre full of people seated, all looking at the camera

Meet the STAMMA staff team, Trustees and Patrons.

Scroll down to read all about us. Our staff team is made up of people who stammer and people who don't. Our Trustee board is overwhelming made up of people who stammer (currently only one Trustee doesn't stammer). 


Jane PowellJane Powell, Chief Executive
Jane has worked in the voluntary sector and on campaigns all her life. She joined in 2018 after launching and running the charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). She said, "It's an honour and a huge responsibility to be leading such an important organisation."

Kirsten HowellKirsten Howells, Director of Services & Deputy CEO
Kirsten joined the team in 2019, initially as a helpline volunteer, and now coordinates our helpline, advocacy and employment services. Kirsten said, "I definitely don't feel I have all the answers to a life with stammering, but I'm really passionate about supporting others in navigating the daily choices and challenges that stammering brings".

Jacqueline FitzsimmonsJacqueline Fitzsimmons, Office Manager
Jacqueline first started working for the charity back in 2000. Following a career break she returned in 2016 as Office Manager using her wealth of knowledge to ensure that the day-to-day operational aspects of the charity run smoothly and efficiently.

Lee Millam, Helpline Manager
Lee has worked for the charity since 2008, managing the Information and Support Service and fundraising for it. They also work part-time for another charity focusing on volunteering and contribute podcasts to the academic website Pod Academy. Lee has also worked as a radio producer for independent and BBC radio.

Steven Halliday, Web Editor
Steven first worked for the BSA, as it then was, from 2009-2015, during which time he set up its social media presence and Facebook support group. He rejoined late in 2018 to take over on the website and said, "I used to really enjoy editing the old magazine Speaking Out, so I'm excited about showcasing the stories and experiences of people who stammer through the website".

Manisha VoraManisha Vora, Finance Officer
Manisha joined the team on a part-time basis in February 2019. With several years' experience in accounts and finance, she has worked with other charities and small partnership concerns, and is excited to be a part of STAMMA.

Elisabeth Wright, Support Services Administrator
Elisabeth is an experienced administrator and joined the team in November 2020. As a parent of a child who stammers, Elisabeth is passionate about the charity's work and said, "STAMMA has been a great help to me and my family. I feel excited and privileged to be part of the team, and to be joining them in making a real difference to people's lives".

A woman looking at the camera, smilingCatherine Woolley, Programme Lead for Children & Families
Catherine also works as an NHS Specialist Speech & Language Therapist in the South of England. Since graduating she has explored an interest in changing public attitudes towards communication difficulties, including work with the University of Oxford. In 2018-2020 she completed a Masters at UCL exploring the impact that theatre can have on the public's attitudes towards people who stammer. Read Catherine's article 'Stammering and the power of theatre'.

A woman looking at the camera, smilingVerena Meyners, Communities & Campaigns Manager
Vee has previously worked for Amnesty International and Victim Support as well as for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative where she coordinated a global network of 60+ grassroots civil society organisations that work towards the eradication of modern-day slavery and human trafficking. She is experienced in communications, campaigns and events, and said, "I am excited to learn and grow in this role, to raise awareness and make a difference to people who stammer".

A woman looking at the camera, smilingVidya Bijarnia, Salesforce Administrator
Vidya joined us in March 2022 and is responsible for day-to-day customisation, automation and maintenance of our Salesforce database. She said, "I feel absolutely privileged to work for STAMMA, which has such a positive impact on society. In my free time I enjoy the great outdoors, yoga and music".

Neha Shaji, Comms & Social Media Manager
Neha's experience includes web management and graphic design for publishers and literary organisations including Huza Press and Africa Writes. She has also trained as a translator and interpreter, working across German, English and Korean. Neha said, "I am thrilled about working at STAMMA as their services helped me with a considerable amount of public speaking at university". Neha is currently pursuing a PhD and works for STAMMA part time.


See our STAMMA Trustees page to read all about those currently sitting on the Board.


In addition to our members, volunteers, fundraisers, trustees and staff, STAMMA, the British Stammering Association, is supported by our valued Patrons. 

Our Patrons have each been impacted uniquely by their stammer. They each consider it in a different way and we are keen to share their experiences, views and insights. They are, in alphabetical order:

Ed BallsA man looking at the camera and smiling 

Ed is a broadcaster and former MP. You can borrow his biography 'Speaking Out', in which he talks about his stammer, from our library

Kelly BrownA man looking to his right and smiling

Kelly is a former Scotland International Rugby Captain. Watch him talking about his stammer in an interview he did with Rugby Pass: Life in rugby with a stammer. Kelly also features in a BBC Sport article: 'How two elite sportsmen learned to live with a stammer'.

Rodney Earl Clarke

Rodney is a professional opera singer and vocal coach. He has performed in many productions including Les Misérables in the West End and he was the first winner of the Richard Lewis/Jean Shanks Award in 2001.

James DaviesA man looking at the camera and smiling 

James is an osteopath who has treated top celebrities including David Beckham, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Kylie Minogue, and has written a book called 'Body'. Read all about James and watch his interview with us.

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Dame Margaret Drabble DBE

Margaret is a celebrated author. Watch Margaret talking about stammering and the power of words in this discussion with author David Mitchell.

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David Mitchell

David is an acclaimed author. Watch him talking about stammering and the power of words in this discussion with author Margaret Drabble. You can borrow David's novel 'Black Swan Green', a semi-biographical book about a boy who stammers, from our library. David also made a keynote speech to the World Congress for People who Stutter in 2013, titled '13 Ways to Look at a Stammer', which you can watch here, or read the transcript.

Scroobius PipA man looking at the camera

Pip is an actor, podcaster, spoken word artist and musician. Listen to a special edition of his podcast 'Distraction Pieces', where he talks with three people who stammer.

A man looking at the camera and smiling

Arwel Richards

Arwel is a businessman and broadcaster. Watch his short video 'Stammering doesn't have to hold you back'.

Owen SheersA man looking at the camera and smiling

Owen is a novelist, poet, playwright and presenter. Read more about Owen and watch our interview with him.

Jon Smith OBEA man looking at the camera and smiling

Jon is an agent with a high profile in the sports and entertainment arenas, and in his biography 'The Deal', he talks about his stammer and how he developed public speaking skills for his continuous media work.

Hannah Tovey

Hannah is an author, whose debut novel The Education of Ivy Edwards was an Amazon number 1 bestseller. Read more about Hannah.

A woman looking at the camera and smilingBaroness Janet Whitaker

Read our interview with the politician, Baroness Janet Whitaker, in which she talks about coping with her stammer in Parliament.

Former patrons

Our former Patrons include:

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Jonathan Miller CBE (1934-2019)

Jonathan Miller, Writer, presenter, humourist and medical doctor, sadly passed away in November 2019. Read our Tribute to Jonathan Miller, which includes a transcription of his Parkinson interview where he talked about his stammer.

Nicholas Parsons CBE (1923-2020)

One of our longest-standing patrons, legendary entertainer Nicholas Parsons died in January 2020. Read what he did for the charity in our Tribute to Nicholas Parsons. You can also read the chapter of his autobiography where he talks about his experiences of stammering.


Our President was Brian Dodsworth, who sadly passed away on 10th April 2021. Read our tribute 'Remembering Brian Dodsworth'.

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In October 2020, we picked up three awards at the Third Sector Excellence Awards.

They were for:

  • Brand Development
  • Volunteer of the Year (John Russell)
  • Chair of the Year (Tim Fell).

Read all about it our our article 'STAMMA wins 3 awards'.