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Help day for sufferers of stammering

PUBLISHED: 22:44 18 April 2008 | UPDATED: 20:10 05 July 2010

A STAMMERING support group, run by a Lowestoft man, takes over the Maids Head Hotel, in Norwich, tomorrow, as it stages an open day.

Norfolk and East Suffolk Support Group is holding the event to help raise their profile in collaboration with the British Stammering Association (BSA) and the Dominic Barker Trust (DBT) - a group established by Alan and Helen Barker after their son committed suicide because he felt he could no longer cope with his stammer.

A STAMMERING support group, run by a Lowestoft man, takes over the Maids Head Hotel, in Norwich, tomorrow, as it stages an open day.

Norfolk and East Suffolk Support Group is holding the event to help raise their profile in collaboration with the British Stammering Association (BSA) and the Dominic Barker Trust (DBT) - a group established by Alan and Helen Barker after their son committed suicide because he felt he could no longer cope with his stammer.

John Thompson, of Dell Road, helped found the support group in April 2006 and since then it has grown from just four members to 18. Amongst the founding members was Heidi King, from Norwich, who travelled to New York later that year to undergo the innovative SpeechEasy treatment, a tiny device that exploits the “choral effect” - the phenomenon which sees people who stammer speak clearly when talking or singing in unison with someone else.

The group often looks to embrace the latest technological developments and Mr Thompson is currently testing a telephone assistance device that helps to ease stammering when using the phone.

Electronic aids will be one of the many topics covered during the day. Also discussed will the latest theories on the causes of stammering, speech therapy courses, cognitive behaviour therapy and confidence. Amongst those due to speak are Monica Bray, of Leeds Metropolitan University; Sally Wynne and Kate Morley, of Norwich PCT; Michael Bailey, of the McGuire Programme; stand-up comedian and IT consultant Jaik Campbell; and therapist Rachel Everard.

Around 40 people are expected to attend including those who stammer, parents of children with stammers, and fully qualified and student speech and language therapists.

The Norfolk and East Suffolk Support Group meets socially on a monthly basis at the Rushcutters pub, in Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich, with occasionally meetings at Yoxford.

For more details on the group or the open day contact 01502 581481 or e-mail john@tommo136.fsworld.co.uk

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