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Thanks to Debbie Mason and Anna Prince for sharing information about a play currently staged at the Bristol Old Vic theatre, about a 12 year old boy who stammers. The whole theatre company have been keen to engage with the stammering community and SLTs. Anna, Debbie and STAMMA have been involved in the consultation process. The performance is being globally streamed : 24th – 26th March 22 So don't miss the opportunity to watch a 5* production ★ ★ ★ ★ ★An audience roaring with laughter and love from the first minute
What's On Stage ★ ★ ★ ★ ★Unmissable
UK Theatre Web ★ ★ ★ ★ ★A roller coaster of emotion
Bristol Post ★ ★ ★ ★ ★inventive and expressive
Everything Theatre ★ ★ ★ ★Boundingly imaginative
The Times ★ ★ ★ ★ ★It's some kind of wonderful
The Guardian 'Sonny is twelve. Living with a stammer, he is finding his way in a world ruled by vicious vowels, confusing consonants, and let’s not forget the biggest beast of them all – small talk. A comic book hero of Sonny’s own creation helps him to soar above his bleak reality – but language is power and Sonny must find a way to be heard. When cast in the school production of Hamlet by the Headteacher, he soon finds the real heroes are closer than he thinks. Dive head-first into the wondrous and heartbreaking Wonder Boy, written by the “fresh and fearless” (Evening Standard) Ross Willis (Wolfie) and directed by the Olivier-award winning Sally Cookson (A Monster Calls).' Find out more or book your tickets here:

Research into Childhood Stammering- Your Views Matter!

Sharon Millard has shared information about a steering group she is part of. It is being led by the James Lind Alliance, working with Action for Stammering Children. The aim of the project is to identify the top 10 most important areas for research in stammering. The group is seeking the opinions of SLTs, people who stammer or have stammered, parents of children who stammer, friends, colleagues, relatives and professionals working with people who stammer (eg teachers).
Please find below the link to a questionnaire where you can nominate your top three research priorities. Please do take the time to do this, your views are important!

21/10/2021 Study Day Video is live on our website!

It was wonderful to see over 100 of our members were able to join us and Professor Vivian Sisskin to discuss the Social Model of Disability and it's application to Stammering Therapy on Thursday last week. It was a really interesting study session and one with lots of food for thought and clinical impact. If you were not able to attend but would like to listen to the talk, it is now available in the members area on our website: If you have not yet signed up for membership and want to view the video, please head to the membership page to sign up for your 12mth subscription. This video will be available on the website for 3mths and so will be accessible until 25/01/2022 at which point it will be removed. If you would like to start a discussion with other members about this topic or any other topic, please head to the chat forum on our website and share your thoughts: Save the date for our next study day which is currently being planned and will be on 22nd February 2022. Enjoy and take care!

AGM Summary Oct 2021

Thank you to all our members who attended the 2021 AGM meeting today (21/20/2021) at the beginning of our study day meeting. As promised here are the committee member reports to give you an overview of all the wonderful work that has been going on with the CEN over the last year. If you have any feedback/questions related to the AGM please get in touch at

Booking is now open for Feb 22nd 2022 Study Day - Working with Functional Neurological Symptoms

Debbie Mason is a specialist Stammering SLT and is currently Clinical Lead for the regional NHS Adult Stammering Service at North Bristol Trust. Until 2020 she was joint Clinical Lead for the Paediatric Stammering Service in Bristol and South Gloucestershire. Debbie is also a Hypnotherapist and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner with trainings in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Mindfulness. She weaves these approaches through her work with clients with Functional Neurological Symptoms (FNS) to help them uncover the resources they need to be well. Debbie is currently doing a project on Best Care Pathways for SLT Clients with Functional Neurological Symptoms at North Bristol Trust. North Bristol Trust is home to the Rosa Burden Centre, a specialist regional centre for the assessment and treatment of people with FNS and has inpatient and outpatient programmes. Debbie is particularly interested in the “Positive Intention” behind symptoms and has used this principle to help clients resolve symptoms. This study day will aim to explore: Terminology – Functional / Psychogenic. Are we clear what we mean? Current Evidence Base – What do we know? Assessment and Diagnosis Therapy – What Works? Resources Client stories. Debbie can share stories of clients with successful outcomes. Please bring stories of any clients with successful outcomes that you would like to share. We will have break-out rooms so that SLTs can discuss their own thoughts and experiences. We will also be hearing from Dr. Jennifer Chesters on her findings from a Covid Project. Jennifer is a Senior Research Associate in the BSLTRU, and a Speech and Language Therapist and Neuroscientist by background. She completed a Psychology degree at the University of St. Andrews, where she developed an interest in the neural basis of communication. She went on to qualify as an SLT in 2008, through the Speech and Language Sciences MSc course at UCL. She has worked as a Speech and Language Therapist in Learning Disability, Forensic Mental Health and Dysfluency services. The day will run from 09:30 - 15:30 online through ZOOM and will include tea/coffee breaks and a lunch break. The day will be recorded and the video will be available for CEN members to watch on the website for 3 months afterwards. Book your place now on our website

Committee Vacancies

We have been so blessed having Oli Cheadle and Rachel Everard on the NAT CEN committee for the last 3/4 years doing a superb job at organising study days and handling our finances. It's time for them to step down from the committee which means we have some vacancies and are very excited to welcome some new members on to the team. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with a supportive, like-minded group of people. It is an opportunity to learn from each other, to network and to prioritise some CPD time. All of us, without exception, would say that the experience has been valuable and good fun. What roles are available? There are two roles available from September 2021: Study Day Coordinator: Oli Cheadle’s term is due to come to an end in September 2021. There are three Study Day Coordinators on the committee, each of whom organises one Study Day per calendar year. Our current Study Day Coordinators, Ali Berquez and Steph Burgess, will remain in post and will work alongside you to organise the upcoming study days. Responsibilities: Planning and organising study days following input from members and the committee; Organising venues/online platforms; Organising speakers including travel and accommodation (where applicable); Negotiating payment for speakers (with support from Committee); Advertising study days (flyer); Welcoming speakers and introducing them on the day; Ensuring events run to time; Collating and evaluating feedback; Organising ‘thank you’ tokens (where applicable). Treasurer: Rachel Everard’s term as Treasurer is also due to come to an end in September 2021, leaving a vacancy. Some previous experience is helpful but is not a requirement. Rachel will provide a detailed handover and explanation of all CEN documents and processes to the new Committee member. Responsibilities: Monitoring membership/study day fees; Paying expenses and speakers’ fees; Keeping accurate and up-to-date accounts; Providing receipts as required; Sharing financial information as required. What is the commitment? Committee membership is a 3 year role, which will add to your professional profile, CV, and CPD. There are two Committee meetings per year and in addition each Committee member is requested to submit an end of year report summarising activity within their area. Travel to attend the committee meetings is funded by the CEN (depending on finances available) and a subsidy may be requested to attend the study days to ensure that there are enough of the Committee there to facilitate the day. Recently, as you may be aware, the CEN has moved meetings and Study Days to an online platform, which has allowed us to cut costs. How do I apply? If you would like to apply, please submit a brief statement to Kevin Fower via email at before 1st September 2021, summarising in no more than 500 words your professional background, the role you are applying for, and why you are interested in the role. Submissions will then be reviewed by the committee, with a final decision expected before the end of September 2021. If there is more than one applicant for each post, the Committee will be asked to vote on the basis of these applications. If you have any questions or would like to find out more, please call me on 07966 599984 or email me at Best Wishes, Kevin Kevin Fower Chair National Dysfluency Clinical Excellence Network

Dating and Stammering- What are your thoughts?

Can you help Kirsten Howells with an article for the STAMMA website? Please read more about this article below or at the forum page of the website. You can add your suggestions by heading to the Forum page or clicking on the button link below. THANK YOU! "Hi, I work for STAMMA and we're currently developing an article for the STAMMA website about dating and stammering. As part of the article, we'd like to include some quotes from SLTs. We'd love to hear your thoughts on the following two questions: - What might you say to someone who stammers and is anxious about asking somebody out on a date, or going on a date with someone, because they stammer? Imagine the person has not disclosed their stammer.
- What would you say to someone who stammers and is in a relationship but finding it hard to talk to their partner about their stammer and how it affects them? We are looking for broad suggestions rather than in-depth case discussions! Many thanks,

Did you hear about our amazing book offer? You don't want to miss out!

Have your seen our Members Forum?

We have launched a members only area on our website and part of this is a members forum where members of NAT CEN with an active paid membership subscription can ask questions, make comments, share ideas, discuss clinical supervision (with respect to confidentiality) and get to know one another. It's a fantastic resource for you all and one that has been highly requested in previous CEN feedback. Head on over to the Members Area --> Members Forum to introduce yourself and post your queries to receive feedback and support from the rest of the CEN members.


International Stuttering Awareness Day is upon us, giving us the opportunity to highlight the key issues around stammering and stammering therapy. We have seen a welcome wave of media exposure, from Felicity Baker’s excellent BBC programme to therapists’ appearances on the morning news and the afternoon radio, a special edition in RCSLT’s autumn Bulletin, and many exciting projects and events lined up for ISAD. More and more dialogue can only lead to positive change. So, where does the National Dysfluency CEN sit within all of this? I think our role is a fundamental one. With 276 members last year, over a hundred people regularly in attendance at our Study Days, and outstanding international speakers and researchers such as Ross Menzies, Kathleen Scaler Scott, and Vivian Sisskin, the CEN committee is working hard to provide a platform for the continued development of our knowledge and expertise. Our roles and responsibilities allow us to work and live in a way which aligns perfectly with this year’s ISAD logo: ‘Speak the change you wish to see’. This year’s ISAD is a time for action but also a time for personal reflection. As with everything, the more voices there are, the more change we will see. I would like to thank the current National Dysfluency CEN Committee for their continued hard work, their dedication, and for their generosity with their time over the past year. All posts on the CEN committee are voluntary, yet the CEN is achieving amazing things thanks to a collective effort. Here is to another great year.


SIOBHAN SHARES MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ROLE: "An exciting opportunity beckons for someone to join the committee of the National Dysfluency CEN in the role of Minutes Secretary. I have been in this role since 2019 and have found it a really enjoyable and rewarding experience. When I came into the role I was not very experienced as a dysfluency specialist and initially thought I would be out of my depth, however I was encouraged by the previous Minutes Secretary, Ruth Edwards (thanks Ruth!) to step out of my comfort zone and I’m so glad I did. The other committee members made me feel very welcome and I have gained so much knowledge and confidence from the experience. I would recommend it to anyone who has a passion for stammering. The Committee meets twice per year (usually via Zoom or Teams). The Minutes Secretary prepares the agenda, writes and distributes the minutes for these meetings, as well as the AGM. The committee communicate throughout the year via email and Whatsapp. The Minutes secretary keeps a track of these conversations so that anything which needs to be discussed in more detail is put on the agenda….that’s it really! As a Committee member you have the chance to contribute to discussions about how the CEN can support it’s membership and ensure that Speech and Language Therapists have access to high quality CPD which benefits the communities we serve. What better motivation do you need? So if you think you might be interested, please send an expression of interest to Kevin Fower (Chair). Please feel free to contact me if you want to have a chat about it. My email is "

NATCEN June 23rd 2022 Study Day

We are thrilled to say that we have another wonderful study day planned continuing our conversations about the Social Model of Disability. To find out more about this study day please download this flyer. To book your place on this study day please head to the study days page on our website. Any questions, get in touch at We look forward to seeing you there!