Professional Networks

Three people in discussion at a conference or meeting

Join the growing band of people who have set up workplace networks for those who stammer.

Over the years we've been increasingly invested in thinking about the needs of people who stammer in the workplace. We are pleased to say we have a new staff member starting shortly to support this work — and local groups — from August 2021 onwards, with the support of the national Lottery Community Fund. Become a member for free and we'll keep you updated.

The Equality Act 2010 has significant implications for people who stammer at work, so we've created resources for you to use. Check out our Stammering at Work section for information around employment, the law, workplace bullying and reasonable adjustments. 

See the different networks below. If you've got a network, tell us about it. Or if you'd like to set one up at your place of work, email Vee at communities@stamma.org

NHS Stammering Network

The NHS Stammering Network has been created by NHS staff who have lived experience of stammering.

It provides NHS staff with support and information on stammering, including easy access to useful resources and we offer recommendations on how to support staff who stammer in the workplace.

Their vision is:

  • To build a supportive and inclusive workplace environment for all NHS staff, patients and the public that respects all communication differences 
  • To advocate for a greater recognition of the diversity of communication and ways of speaking across the NHS workforce and wider society 
  • To challenge prevailing and unhelpful perceptions of what it means to be an ‘effective’ communicator

The network is overseen by a small working group. 

Please visit their website nhsstammeringnetwork.uk for additional information around stammering, as well as useful resources on stammering support and provision of specially trained peer mentors (fellow NHS staff who stammer) who are available to provide one-to-one advice and support if required.

Contact details can be found on their website, if you'd like to join or find out more.

Stammerers Through University Consultancy (STUC)
Stammerers Through University Consultancy (STUC)

Founder Claire Maillet says, "I was inspired to set up the Stammerers Through University Consultancy (or 'STUC', emphasising the possible feeling of being trapped by having a stammer) in 2015. Its aim is to bring together students and staff who stammer in a network where they can discuss issues and possible resolutions. 

I want to provide students with a greater insight into how going to university doesn't have to be a daunting experience. It is vital to me that the message is emphasised that having a stammer does not have to prevent us from reaching our full potential."

If you are a student or work at a university and would like to contact Claire, email her at hello@stuc-uk.org 

Visit the website and follow the STUC campaign on Twitter, using @STUC_UK.

Civil Service Stammering Network
Members of the Civil Service Stammering Network

The Civil Service Stammering Network (CSSN) is a group of civil servants from across the UK who want to champion the needs of stammerers and encourage the Civil Service to provide support throughout people’s careers, regardless of grade or department. The CSSN welcomes allies who have experience of stammering or simply want to understand more. Membership is open to everyone in the UK Civil Service.

The CSSN has built a network of ambassadors across the UK who can answer questions or connect people with information or support in their department or agency. CSSN are also working with the Civil Service Diversity & Inclusion team to improve the support offered in departments and across the whole Civil Service.

Get in touch with them by joining their Facebook group or find them on Twitter using @UK_CSSN.

Visit their website, where you can find lots of resources and blogs from members.

STAMMA Defence
The words Stamma Defence

STAMMA Defence, previously known as the Defence Stammering Network, supports, inspires and champions people working in the UK Armed Forces and Defence Civil Service who stammer. We believe STAMMA Defence to be the first such network in the world.  

It provides its members with support in the workplace, through online channels and with professional employment advice. STAMMA Defence raises stammering awareness through publicity and communications across UK Defence, wider government and other UK employers. 

The network is fully supported by the Defence Board as part of the Ministry of Defence (MOD)'s Defence Diversity and Inclusion Programme. It also works in close partnership with STAMMA, the British Stammering Association (BSA).

History

Captain Jimmy Lang
Captain Jimmy Lang, 
DSN co-founder

The Defence Stammering Network was established in 2014 by Corporal Emmanuel Ottih, Captain Jimmy Lang MBE and MOD civil servant Walter Scott. Walter said, "I met Jimmy and Emmanuel through the BSA and we very quickly realised that we were all pulling in the same direction, having all just gone through speech therapy. We wanted to start tackling attitudes and raising awareness in the Armed Forces. So we set up the DSN." 

The network was officially launched at a reception at the House of Lords on 14th July 2015  hosted by Baroness Whitaker, a patron of the BSA, and attended by top MOD figures.

STAMMA Defence, as it is now called, has gone from strength to strength and through its activities and campaigning, stammering is now officially recognised in UK defence policy. It has also been the subject of two documentaries on Forces TV: 'My War With Words' and 'Stammering – the unspeakable truth'. 

Enlist here 

If you work in the UK Armed Forces or Defence Civil Service and you stammer, STAMMA Defence would love to hear from you. 
Email defence@stamma.org
Find them on Twitter (@UKDSN) and Facebook.

Read more about STAMMA Defence in this article on Forces.net.

STAMMA Legal

STAMMA Legal is a network for people who stammer in the legal profession.

Co-founder Nick Fischer says, "We are a friendly and welcoming network for anyone with a stammer working in or thinking about entering the legal industry. We welcome people at any stage of their career, from qualified solicitors and barristers, to paralegals, trainees and law students."

What the network does:

"We hold regular support meetings and social events throughout the year, and aim to provide an opportunity to share experiences, words of advice, or perhaps to practise and develop communication skills in an encouraging and supportive environment.

Having a stammer should in no way hinder a successful and fulfilling career in law.

'We hope to raise awareness of stammering within the legal industry, by sharing information about stammering and engaging with law firms and other stakeholders around conducting interviews, assessments and working with employees who stammer.

'We want bust myths. We want to encourage young people who may be dissuaded from pursuing a career in law, perhaps due to a belief that it requires outstanding fluency and public speaking skills (often fuelled by TV dramas such as Suits), to stick with it. Despite certain unique challenges, having a stammer should in no way hinder a successful and fulfilling career in law."

Visit the STAMMA Legal website to find out more. If you work in the legal profession and want to join the network, email mail@stammering.legal or fill out the contact form on their website.

Met Police Stammering Support Network

The Met Police Stammering Support Network was formed in April 2021 and is open to all staff working in the Metropolitan Police Service.

Founder Vishal Gosai has taken ownership of the group after it became inactive over the years, reviving and relaunching it.

Vish says, "I’ve been a Police Officer in the Met Police Service for almost 15 years. I used to hide my stammer but have grown in confidence and recently passed my promotion board to become a Sergeant. I've achieved what I thought was impossible, so I felt the need to reach out and offer support to others who stammer across the Met Police service who face the same barriers.

I encourage any colleagues who feel like I used to, to come and join us. I want to raise awareness of this non-visible disability and let people know it's not acceptable to laugh at someone who stammers.

At meetings we: 

  • talk about supporting each other
  • discuss situations where we tend to stammer the most and what we can implement to help us
  • discuss key problem areas in the job including: using comms and radio work, pronouncing numbers, giving evidence at court, and telling colleagues we have a stammer – a massive weight off the shoulders.

The group meets at least once every 2-4 weeks. At the moment meetings and chats are held over MS Teams and WhatsApp due to Covid. Post Covid restrictions, we’ll meet up for meals and social events."

Contact

If you work for the Metropolitan Police Service and would like to join the support group, email Vish at StammeringSupportNetwork@met.police.uk

BBC Stammering Support Network

Following a great response to her documentary 'I Can't Say My Name', which aired on the BBC in March 2021, presenter and BBC producer Felicity Baker was inundated with support from colleagues, some saying they stammer too.

This led her to join forces with colleagues Clive Collins and Gautum Rangarajan to set up the BBC Stammering Support Network, which had its official launch on 10th June 2021, where they were joined by broadcaster Sophie Raworth for a special internal event. 

The Network is open to anyone employed by the national broadcaster who is affected by stammering and looking for support in the workplace. If you work for the BBC and would like to join, email communities@stamma.org for more information. 

Watch Felicity Baker & Sophie Raworth chat with STAMMA about 'I Can't Say My Name'

STAMMA Educators
Image
A logo, with the text 'STAMMA Educators' Stammering Network'

The STAMMA Educators' Stammering Network aims to raise awareness of stammering within schools and universities.

The network wants to make schools a supportive space for people who stammer, where both teachers and pupils who stammer thrive in an environment of understanding. 
 
Group founder Bhupinder Purewal said, "I decided to set up the network after struggling with a lack of confidence at the beginning of my teaching career. I felt as if those I worked alongside lacked basic knowledge around stammering, which affected my self-esteem and caused me to feel isolated. 
 
'Our aim for this network is to not only raise awareness of stammering within education, but also to provide support and resources for teachers and pupils who stammer. Whether you work in education or just feel passionately about making a step change in education for people who stammer, we would love for you to join us!"

The group currently meets on Zoom on the third Tuesday of each month to chat about experiences and discuss projects to raise stammering awareness within education.
 
Email Bhupinder at stammaeducators@gmail.com for details or to reach out if you have any questions.