The Starfish Project

An illustrated starfish above the words 'The Starfish Project'

The Starfish Project is a non-profit organisation that provides therapy with free lifetime support.

What ages is it for?

Ages 11+

What does it do? 

Established in 1998, Starfish teaches techniques to help people who stammer gain control of their fluency and increase confidence. The training combines a breathing technique, avoidance reduction therapy and positive attitude development in a caring and supportive environment.

What happens on a course?

This is a three-day residential course at a hotel in Eastbourne. It gives one-to-one training, supported by previous course participants who return voluntarily to refresh their technique and help new participants learn. Numbers of people on a course is restricted to ensure the maximum individual attention is given.

Days start at 9am and finish at 5 or 6pm. Regular breaks are provided. In the evenings there is plenty of opportunity to practise the technique in a relaxed social situation and during dinner with everyone else on the course. 

Training sessions are not just theory-based. They include role-play to practise the technique in everyday situations including telephone work, ordering fast food or a drink in a pub, talking to a group, etc. An initial Starfish Project course will end by preparing participants for the next step and how to handle future challenges.

What else is included?

Free lifetime support is provided, including:

  • The Starfish nationwide telephone support list, with details of other participants who are available by phone 365 days a year to assist your progress. 
  • A personalised programme for your continued progress.
  • Local Starfish support groups that meet regularly throughout the country. 
  • Free refresher courses (just the cost of the hotel room). 
  • Regular Starfish Skype conference support group sessions with worldwide members.

Who delivers the course?

Anne Blight (founder) is the principal course coach, with all one-to-one training given by returning participants, who use the technique. They are not qualified Speech and Language Therapists.

Where and when are courses held?

Regular three-day courses are held throughout the year for adults. They have at least one course per year for young people aged 11–16. Courses are held at a country house hotel near Hailsham, East Sussex (9 miles from Eastbourne). Easy access by plane, train (5 mins to station) and car (free parking provided).)

How much does it cost?

There is a one-off course fee of £250. Participants can return for free lifetime refresher courses.

The hotel provides a special Starfish rate: an en-suite single room with full English Breakfast and 3-course dinner for three nights at £68.25 per night including VAT.

Where can I find out more?

Visit The Starfish Project website.
Phone: 01825 872038.

Starfish is one of the courses available for stammering. For the full list of options, see Adult Therapy & Courses.

Read articles from people who have attended Starfish in our Your Voice section.

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