A service for Helen Barker

A man and woman standing next to information boards, smiling for the camera
Helen Barker with John Thompson from the E. Suffolk & Norfolk Stammering Support Group (courtesy of A©archant2013)

Last Thursday, 11th April, a service of thanksgiving was held for Helen Barker, co-founder of the Dominic Barker Trust, who sadly passed away.

Helen was a former teacher who set up the Trust along with her husband following the death of their son Dominic in 1994, aged just 26. Dominic took his own life after the pressures and effects of stammering proved too much to bear. 

The Dominic Barker Trust, or Dom's Fund, was founded in 1997. For the past 30 years it has been raising money to support research into stammering and supporting charities including STAMMA. 

After starting in Suffolk, the trust has worked across the country, including at universities in London, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle. It also has an international presence in South Africa. The research influenced by the trust has included early childhood disfluency, clinical strategies research, play-based research and technical research.

One of the projects The Trust has supported was undertaken by Clare Butler, of Newcastle University, which found that people who stammer experience prejudice in the workplace. They have also helped fund research into brain imaging in people who stammer, run by former STAMMA Trustee Naheem Bashir.

Helen, pictured above at a stammering awareness-raising event in 2013, passed away last November aged 84. The service of thanksgiving was held at 12 noon on Thursday 11th April in the Chapel of the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook, Suffolk.

Our thoughts go out to the Barker family.

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Tayo & Bhupinder
A speaker on stage at STAMMAFest 2023

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