To mark this anniversary, the BSA trustees invited some of those who have worked with Norbert over the years to share their thoughts.
British Stammering Association is the UK national charity that advocates for and supports children and adults who stammer. The charity began in 1978 and has for the past 15 years or so been led by Norbert Lieckfeldt, as Chief Executive Officer*.
Norbert began as a volunteer at the BSA. His steadfast commitment to people who stammer has lasted over 20 years and continues on. Norbert has led the BSA through many a difficult time and has helped push stammering onto the national agenda, in education, employment and healthcare.
To celebrate, we thought we’d share a few words from people who have known Norbert over the years.
Past Chairs of the BSA
John Evans (Immediate previous Chair)
“Norbert’s dedication to helping people who stammer is phenomenal. It is not at all easy being CEO of an organisation where there has always been so much passion and, often, so little money. Norbert has always put the interests of people who stammer first, giving of himself most generously to help us all prosper.”
Velda Osborne (previous Chair)
“I have known Norbert throughout his 15 years as chief executive of the British Stammering Association. He was very supportive of me in my role as Chair of the BSA and always found time to encourage me with words of wisdom when we encountered tricky situations. One of his great skills is his ability to maintain a sense of humour when facing opposition. The BSA is truly fortunate to have benefited from his services during this time.”
Rachel Everard (previous Chair)
“I feel very privileged to have known Norbert ever since I joined the British Stammering Association, way back in the 1990s. For me Norbert has become synonymous with everything the BSA stands for and the support it offers to people who stammer and their families. I strongly believe that without Norbert the BSA wouldn’t be the leading organisation it is today, representing the interests of people whose lives are affected by stammering. His wit is legendary, his capacity for hard work extraordinary and his networking skills inimitable. In 1999 I became Chair of the BSA and it was always a pleasure to work closely with Norbert and to learn from him. In his time as Chief Executive the BSA has faced numerous challenges and it is due to Norbert’s leadership skills and his ability to think outside the box that we survived these. Congratulations, Norbert, on everything you have achieved for the BSA and I hope you’ll be at the helm for many more years to come!”
I strongly believe that without Norbert the BSA wouldn’t be the leading organisation it is today’
Cherry Hughes (BSA Education Officer)
“From the onset Norbert kept his passion about stammering, and a fundamental belief that the BSA was needed to change lives, at the centre of his thinking and demonstrated it in all his dealings with trustees and staff. This created respect from staff and gave all those colleagues whom I can recall over the years the confidence to share their expertise in the BSA to the great benefit of the organisation, as Norbert has always been careful to recognise staff ability and achievements. He has led by example with great energy and industry. This has benefited the BSA tremendously so that we are now a respected member of the speech and language community, with an extensive network of organisations and access to joint activities and events. I think for me the culmination of Norbert's achievements was to see him speak as the Gala Dinner guest speaker at the World Dysfluency Conference in 2014 in Oxford. This is the most prestigious meeting of stammering professionals. Norbert's speech was finely judged, humorous yet full of passion and conviction and it blew the audience away, so many ovations and a measure of how far the BSA and Norbert have come.”
Norbert's speech was finely judged, humorous yet full of passion and conviction and it blew the audience away
John Perkins (Volunteer and BSA member)
“In the 18 years that I have known Norbert I have never seen him lose his cool no matter what the circumstances – and there have been many hairy moments regarding funding. He is always kind and considerate to staff who all worship him.
I well remember my 70th birthday in a hospital about 20 miles outside London feeling very sorry for myself, having broken my ankle several days before, when suddenly out of the blue Norbert turns up clutching a birthday card signed by the staff. Good luck, Norbert, and may you continue to be as successful in the next 15 years as you have been in the past 15 years.”
*Norbert actually led BSA as its ‘director’ for a while, before being designated ‘Chief Executive Officer’ in about 2002. However, the trustees felt the 15th anniversary of his current job title was an excellent opportunity to appreciate his talents and contribution to BSA.