Project information

A Lifeline for Stammering Children

In the UK,150,000 children and young people stammer. A stammer can make young people feel isolated and vulnerable, and often they're not aware that help is available, and that they are not alone.

For hundreds of people every year, our helpline provides much-needed reassurance and practical advice.

April 2019 - March 2020

Charity information: Action For Stammering Children (ASC)

Action For Stammering Children (ASC) logo
  • Need


    Many children and young people who stammer, don't know anyone else with a stammer. Young people who stammer are often unsure of what to do (is there help for this? Is this normal?) Moreover, their parents, siblings, friends and teachers often don't know what they can do to help. They need a free, readily available information service that can respond to their concerns and needs, and provide them with guidance regarding available therapy, and connect them to the specialists who can help.


    Our national helpline is open to anyone who needs help with stammering - parents, young people, teachers and local therapists. There will always be a sympathetic voice on the line to deal with any general concerns. Should more technical information be needed, then a specialist Speech and Language Therapist can provide help. Where appropriate callers can make appointments for therapy sessions. In short, the helpline is the first port of call and a lifeline for people concerned about stammering.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Reach as many people across the UK with our specialist helpline, offering the highest quality help.


    » Ensure that there is always someone, with appropriate expertise, to answer the phone during office hours, and monitor emails/social media questions.
    » Promote the availability of the service across the UK, so those most in need of the service are aware of its existence, and the expertise available.

    What success will look like

    Log number of calls received and where possible the satisfaction of the caller. Record how many calls lead to further action (such as provision of therapy or training).

  • Impact


    Anxious families receive expert advice and guidance to set them on the right path to help them overcome the challenges that stammering can cause.

    For many, their first contact will be with the MPC through the helpline, which may lead to a specialist assessment and therapy at the Centre. Young people who receive help from the MPC report an improvement in fluency and greater participation in the classroom (86%).

    We will keep records of calls to the helpline and note whatever follow-up occurs.


    We calculate only a very low risk to the success of the project. The technological requirements (phone-line, email / online provision) are in place and reliable.

    There are contracts in place to ensure that there is expert technical support available in the unlikely event of the phone or computer system malfunctioning.

    We also need to ensure that staffing rosters are such that there is always expert coverage, but the level of staffing at MPC ensures that this is easily arranged.


    As outlined above, we will record statistics relating to the use of the helpline service. We will also, where appropriate, provide case studies. This information will be made available to funders in order to assess the benefits derived from their support of the project.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £30,000 Phone Actioning 600+ calls by trained speech and language therapists
  • Background


    The project will take place at the Michael Palin Centre in central London. This is a world-leading centre of speech therapy specialising in stammering. The MPC has a staff of 14 specialist speech and language therapists, as well as administrative support. There will be someone to answer phone calls during office hours. That person will deal sympathetically with routine queries and concerns. Should a specialist be needed, there will always be at least one expert therapist available.


    The helpline will be available to people from across the UK. Beneficiary groups are:
    - children and young people who stammer
    - parents / carers of children and young people who stammer
    - teachers of young people who stammer, who are seeking advice on providing support
    - speech and language therapists who are seeking guidance on specific cases, or are looking more generally for training in specific techniques and therapies.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are UK's leading charity supporting children and young people who stammer. We work in close partnership with (and are based at) the Michael Palin Centre for Stammering in central London. The MPC is a world-leading facility providing therapy and advice for people who stammer. Its 14 specialist speech and language therapists will be able to provide follow up responses to helpline / online queries and ensure that callers receive the appropriate support.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Phil Pyatt

    Phil is Chief Executive of ASC and will take ultimately responsibility for ensuring that the project goes ahead as planned.

    Elaine Kelman

    Elaine is the senior clinical manager at the Michael Palin Centre. She will have overall responsibility for maintaining the helpline service.

    Alanna Byrne

    Alanna is the communications manager for Action for Stammering Children. She will be responsible for promoting the service as widely as possible.

    Joe Hipgrave

    Joe is the trusts and foundations manager and will ensure that stats on the helpline are recorded, interpreted and made available as appropriate.