BSA Scotland's summer social and fundraising event on the Knoydart peninsula attracted 19 participants: 8 people who stammer, one husband, one BSA Scotland volunteer, assorted friends and Scottish Development Manager, Jan Anderson. We were delighted to welcome BSA webmaster Allan Tyrer as the lone traveller from south of the border!
On top of Ladhar Bheinn. That's Jan's hat in the air.
The summit ridge.
Aboard the 'Rib' for a white-nuckle ride back to Mallaig.
John Mann. 'blether' is the BSA Scotland Newsletter
Saturday entailed a strenuous Munro climb through heavy mist for 12 participants, though, on reaching final ridge, the clouds parted to reveal an incredible view. Meanwhile the rest of the party wandered locally and spent time preparing a legendary fish stew from scratch! Later in the evening the majority walked to the pub to join 'Hollywood night' and a local party! As Allan reported, "It was wonderful walking to the pub at 11.30pm when it was not yet dark, with views of mountains and water, and over a few pints of excellent beer from Skye chatting with the group, pub staff and strangers about this and that."
Sunday was warm and sunny. "The Speaking Circle on Sunday morning was magical, on the beach with a backdrop of sea and mountains." After Sunday lunch we returned across the sea to Mallaig, with half of the group choosing a white-knuckle 'Rib' ride to round off the weekend.
The weekend was a resounding success and the mix of stammering/non-stammering participants brought its own rewards. Everyone involved has expressed interest in attending future events on similar lines and we hope more of our members will join us next time.
Around £1,000 was raised in sponsorship for BSA Scotland.
Over to the participants:
People who stammer:
"I felt that I saw the true chatty, confident, expressive side of many of my stammering friends. My confidence has improved considerably as a result of the weekend and this has meant improvements to my speech, with less blocks and repetitions. I hope that this will last a considerable period of time and the friendships I made on the trip will blossom."
"The spirituality of a place like Knoydart has a profound effect on your well-being - friendships old and new are always forged - and never underestimate the power of laughter - it really is the best
"Walking among the mountains and lochs was so peaceful. It made me forget about everyday life. Sometimes at short self-help meetings I feel like my mind is still at work. Also, walking is a great way to mingle. You speak to far more people than in a traditional conference setting."
"I just wanted to say a big thank you for the weekend in Knoydart! I was quite taken aback afterwards by how much I got from the weekend! I guess I never stopped to think before I went about what I may have in common with others in the group! I definitely didn't think I would meet so many people that would become friends! I had so much fun and the weekend was just ... lovely!"
"The weekend gave me a chance to gain a better understanding of what it is like to live with a stammer and how many different areas of your life it can affect, how it is society that portrays having a stammer or communication difficulty as a 'problem', something which can be 'fixed' and how much better it would be to see it instead as one of the amazing things which make each person unique. I had the oppourtunity to learn about the work the BSA does in supporting its members and raising public awareness. Meeting such a great group of people also restored my faith in human nature a little bit and put in to perspective my stressful life!"
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