The West of Scotland Stammering Network, a newly formed community organisation that meets on a monthly basis in central Glasgow to provide self-help support to adults who stammer, has received £1,000 in the latest round of funding from the National Lottery, Awards for All Programme.
The two hour monthly meetings are free to attend, with the first hour dedicated to a round-robin allowing members to speak at their pace and discuss their previous month detailing any issues they have encountered.
This allows for support and feedback from members if they have encountered similar situations. The second hour is given over to different topics for example breathing exercises, confidence building techniques or speech and language techniques.
A successful funding application to Awards for All at the National Lottery has helped to secure the running costs for a year. Chairperson of the Network James Stewart commented:
“The lottery support is fantastic. We have booked the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow as the venue for our future monthly meetings. This venue is ideal as many people arriving by train from Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Greater Glasgow and Clyde areas can get to the hotel without even having to leave Glasgow Central Station.
“We hope that the group will ultimately increase the confidence of members to feel able to speak freely regardless of stammering or speech avoidance techniques in a variety of situations and encounters. It was clear from the experience of group members at the first meeting that support from NHS Speech and Language Therapists can only go so far and in fact peer support from others who stammer can help them in the short and long term.
“This is because they feel that they are finally in a situation with people who know what it is like to have stammer and are keen to share their experiences for others to learn from.”
Added Kenneth Gibson, whose motion on stammering in the last Parliament secured the support of a record 70 MSPs:
“I am delighted about the award to the West of Scotland Stammering Network. Stammering can often lead to social isolation and impact on a person’s perceived employability. A support organisation based in the West of Scotland and focussed on local needs is therefore vital.”
Facts on stammering:
• Stammering is universal – in all countries of the world and all groups equally
• More males than females stammer a ratio of 4 or 5 to one
• Stammering in nearly all cases begins in childhood — from 2 to 5 when language is being learned
• There is no known single cause for stammering
• There are no special or impossible words or sounds for people with a stammer