The British Stammering Association is dedicated to creating a world where people who stammer are able to fulfil their potential and enjoy respect and consideration.
Here for anyone in the UK who stammers, we offer support and information for those that stammer and those in contact with them. We're here to connect people, to support, signpost and provide information about stammering and to advocate for and represent those who stammer.
Above all we are a membership organisation. Anyone aged 16 or over and living in the UK can become a member. Members can vote and stand for election for our General Committee (Board of Trustees), and usually take an active part in organising local events and activities. Members also can attend our bi-annual conference.
In addition to members, we also rely upon volunteers to help us do what we do and support people across the country. If you want to get involved, volunteer on the helpline, help in the office, take pictures or write for us, we would LOVE to hear from you.
Jane Powell, Chief Executive
Jane has worked in the voluntary sector and on campaigns all her life. She joined the BSA 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."
Rachel Everard, Service Director
Having worked as a specialist Speech and Language Therapist for many years with people who stammer, she is delighted to put her knowledge, experience and skills to use at the BSA. She said, “Thanks to the BSA, I found the help and support I needed all those years ago and I want to make sure it continues to do everything possible to help people who stammer realise their potential.”
Kate Dickson, Communications Director
Kate is responsible for all external communications. With over 15 years experience in communications and media relations, Kate has worked across the private, public and not for profit sectors for organisations including The Scottish Parliament, The Toronto International Film Festival Group and Viacom International Media Networks.
Jacqueline Fitzsimmons, Office Manager
Jacqueline first started working with the BSA 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 BSA since 2008, managing the Information and Support Service and fundraising for it. He also works part-time for another charity focusing on volunteering and contributes podcasts to the academic website Pod Academy. Lee has also worked as a radio producer for independent and BBC radio.
Ahmad Al-Hasani, Salesforce Administrator
Ahmad is a database administrator and joined the team in late 2018. He said, ‘having had stammering in my family, I feel passionately about supporting people who stammer by providing operational support to the team. In my free time I enjoy playing the saxophone out of tune, to the pleasure of my neighbours!”
Steven Halliday, Web Editor
Steven first worked for the BSA from 2009 until 2015, during which time he set up its social media presence and Facebook support group. He rejoined the team late in 2018 to take over on the website and said, "I used to really enjoy editing the old magazine Speaking Out, so am excited about showcasing the stories and experiences of people who stammer through the website."
Manisha 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 the BSA.
Tim Fell (Chair)
"One of the aims of the BSA is to help people who stammer reach their full potential. That's a fantastic thing to be able to do! And I believe that, as a trustee, I can use my experience both as a businessman and a person who stammers to help the BSA achieve that aim."
Mandy Taylor (Vice Chair)
"I am originally from Northern Ireland, but now live in Cheshire, where I work in finance for an integrated marketing agency. My partner and I have four children between us, and stammering is very much prevalent in our family, with members on both sides that stammer over three generations."
James Smith (Treasurer)
"I am a Chartered Accountant from the North West. In my role as Treasurer I work to ensure that the charity is able to support change for fellow stammerers from a solid financial base. In my free time, I am a keen fair-weather golfer, hiker and a blindly loyal supporter of Liverpool Football Club."
"Having stammered since childhood, I have experienced first-hand the difficulties and challenges and I wish to help promote greater public awareness and understanding of stammering and offer support wherever needed. As an Independent Financial Adviser to both personal and corporate clients, my role involves a lot of talking!"
"I am a senior lecturer in Physiotherapy at the University of the West of England. I have found my many years of teaching/public speaking experience have been beneficial in the successful self-management of my stammer. Apart from my academic role I have been actively involved in running workshops and support for students/staff with a fear of public speaking, regardless of fluency."
"I am a maths teacher at a secondary school in Birmingham, where I support young people who stammer to become confident and to stammer with confidence. As a person who stammers, I have found that my job has made me into a very confident speaker and performer. Yes, we teachers are performers."
"I’m a senior engagement and behaviour change professional with experience in public and commercial sectors. I've worked in several roles leading change, digital outreach and crisis communications such as for the Grenfell Tower response Gold Command team, central Government Departments and HSBC.
I’m co-chair of the Civil Service Stammering Network and as a person who stammers, I am passionate about creating positive and inclusive environments where everyone can speak and be heard."
"I am an Experimental Psychologist at UCL. At the age of 18 I almost took my own life because of my stammer. However, through therapy and support I learned to see my stammer as a slingshot; it held me back, but now it's propelling me forward. I recently completed a PhD exploring the brains of people who stammer and using this information to develop more effective therapies. I also co-founded the London support group for people who stammer."
"I recently retired from a working life in library customer services. My stammer has had a positive effect on my life. I met my partner through a BSA event and have met many wonderful people through the charity. I have volunteered for BSA for many years, most recently as chair of the Cardiff conference organising committee. I'm also an admin of the Women who Stammer Facebook group and co-founder of the new group in London for women who stammer.
Julia started off her professional career in fundraising at BSA from 2010-2014. Since then, she has fundraised for medium and large charities helping people with other communication and physical disabilities. She became a BSA Trustee in 2016. “I see BSA as a family; diverse and made up of unique personalities, but always there for each other when needed. I’m looking forward to welcoming more people who stammer into the fold."
"I am a Speech and Language Therapist and senior lecturer at Birmingham City University, and co-founder of the Birmingham Stammering Network. I've been a member of the BSA for over 15 years and feel privileged to be part of the Trustee board during such an exciting time of development and change."
Of the Trustees listed above, Gill is the only one who doesn't have a stammer.
To see when each Trustee was elected or appointed, and the dates when their terms come to an end, click here.
Our President is lifelong supporter Brian Dodsworth.
In addition to our members, volunteers, fundraisers, trustees and staff, the British Stammering Association is supported by our valued Patrons.
Our Patrons are:
- Broadcaster and former MP Ed Balls
- Celebrated writer Dame Margaret Drabble DBE
- Former MP and MSP John McAllion
- Acclaimed author David Mitchell
- Hugely popular entertainer Sir Nicholas Parsons
- Actor, rapper and leading podcaster Scroobius Pip
- Businessman and broadcaster Arwel Richards
- The original ‘super agent’ Jon Smith
- Politician Baroness Whitaker.