The British Stammering Association, trading as Stamma 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.
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). Our registered charity numbers are 1089967/SCO38866.
Become a member
Above all we are a membership organisation. Anyone aged 16 or over and living in the UK can become a member by clicking here. Members can vote and stand for election for our General Committee (Board of Trustees) and 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."
Kirsten Howells, Programme Lead
Kirsten is a speech and language therapist. Fortunate to have lived and worked in Norway and the US, she now lives in the north-west of England with her family. Joining the Stamma team in late 2019, Kirsten said, "I'm really excited to be involved with the work of Stamma and am looking forward to contributing to the further development of the helpline and webchat services."
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."
Betony Kelly (Vice Chair)
"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 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."
Gary Barth (Treasurer)
"I am from Scotland but now live in London, after a spell in Sydney, where I work as a Chartered Accountant at a private equity firm. As one who stammers, I am proud to be involved with Stamma and as Treasurer my role is to ensure that the charity can continue to carry out and develop its activities from a strong financial position, and provide clear and concise financial information to the members."
"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 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.
"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."
"I’m a vocational trainer and Psychology MSc student, and hope to become a clinical psychologist. I have stammered for as long as I remember and have a very positive relationship with my stammer. It hasn’t always been like this so I use my own experiences to help others navigate the barriers put up by society. I applied to be a Trustee so I can support Stamma with changing lives and giving hope to people who stammer. I’m also co-founder of a global support group, Stamily."
I’ve been involved with the BSA for nearly 15 years and I’m honoured to be able to help the charity as they continue to develop and find new ways to support their members. I’m also a Trustee for the Scottish Stammering Network and I am involved with the international stammering community Stamily. Professionally, I’m a healthcare librarian and I work closely with my work disability network as one of the site leads and inclusion ambassadors.
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. (Note: we're currently adding more info about each Patron. Please bear with us...)
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. Read David's brilliant description of what it's like to stammer in this article he did for Prospect magazine. There's also a transcript of the keynote speech he did at the World Congress for People Who Stutter (2013) here. You can borrow his semi-autobiographical novel 'Black Swan Green' in our library here.
- Actor, rapper and leading podcaster Scroobius Pip
- Businessman and broadcaster Arwel Richards
- Novelist, poet, playwright and presenter Owen Sheers
- The original ‘super agent’ Jon Smith
- Politician Baroness Whitaker.
Our former patrons include:
- Legendary entertainer Nicholas Parsons. A Patron for 26 years, Nicholas was a great supporter of the charity, helping us to launch our first ever colour children's poster in 1995 and speaking at the event marking the renaming of the BSA (from the AFS). You may not have know that Nicholas had a stammer, but he was very open about it and shared his experiences in a chapter from his autobiography, which you can read on Google books here.
Actor, director, presenter and medical doctor Jonathan Miller.