Hello, my name is Amanda and I have been volunteering at the BSA office for four months. My main role was to update the National Database of NHS Speech and Language Services.
Before I volunteered at the BSA, I came across many individuals who had children/teenagers who stammer. Although I could sympathise, I could not direct them to an organisation that could help them. My role as a volunteer has taught me that information and services are so important, because so many individuals and families are struggling. Receiving the right information and direction can literally change your life: "small keys can open up big doors".
It has been great to see such a great support network for people who stammer, stammerers supporting one another, encouraging one another. The BSA are a family, and families stick together. This is important because of the isolation that many stammerers face.
I have personally been inspired by some of the individuals that I have met. Their stories have been encouraging, and speak of perserverance, and triumph over adversity. In my time at the BSA I learned a lot about people who stammer. Our stammers are all very different. However, we may have a lot of things in common such as
- hating making phone calls to people we don't know!
- speaking in public
- social phobias.
I have learned about discrimination in the work place through the Employers Stammering Network, and the different type of obstacles that we stammerers face. It has been an education, I thought I knew all there was to know about stammering, I was wrong!
As a stammerer, I feel blessed to have volunteered with the BSA, I have enjoyed it. It has been a priviledge to work with such a lovely team (Norbert, Steven, Allan, Lee ,John etc.) I would recommend coming to volunteer at the BSA, to help out in the office (maybe even taking over my role of updating the database). Not only will you be providing much needed help, but I believe you will be personally impacted by your experience, as I have.
Bye for now!