Change at the BSA

Norbert Lieckfeldt | 23.03.2018

Dear Member

after nearly 25 years with the BSA, starting as a volunteer in 1993, I'm leaving the Association at the end of April to start a new job with the NHS.

It's been an amazing journey (sometimes a rather scary one!) but I think together we have come a very long way. We are a very different charity then we were in the 1993. More open, more outward-facing, more bolshie (in some ways), more connected to the whole voluntary and diversity sectors.

We have opened up our membership to non-stammerers, indeed we have opted for mass membership (now standing at nearly 2,500 and growing quickly) by abolishing subscription fees, and we're reaching tens of thousands of people each month through our website and social media activities.

Other things have got rather worse - the state of adult NHS speech therapy for stammering is a real concern, the worst it's probably been in my 25 years at BSA and something we need to keep kicking up a fuss over.

Some things haven't changed - we've got great, engaged, passionate members we can always rely upon. It's been a real priviledge and I can't thank you enough.

With a great Trustee board, a fantastic staff team and volunteers, amazing people like my ESN Co-Chair Iain as well as our employment champions, and a more secure financial position (for once!), I firmly believe we are at the start of an exciting step-change in our development.

And a step-change can't be done with tired and worn-out brooms, it needs new thinking and fresh enthusiasm.

I look forward with great interest and a sense of excitement to where a new Chief Executive will take BSA. I believe I'm leaving it in good shape, and I'll help where I can.

Thank you all so much for your help, your support, your enthusiasm and passion. Even when things were really difficult, I always knew that I and the BSA could rely on all of you - just as my successor will.