STAMMA Helpline Team
STAMMA, the British Stammering Association
For many who stammer, the phone is a source of misunderstanding and being hung up on. So staffing a helpline with a team of volunteers who stammer, or understand what it means to stammer, is brilliant. And being greeted by someone who stammers, someone who ‘gets it’, makes the world of difference to our callers.
Over two years our team of 50 volunteers have dealt with over 2300 calls, chats and emails. A massive 8% of children stammer at some point, often leaving parents in deep distress. Taking these calls, as well as contacts from teenagers and adults who stammer can change lives.
As the pandemic hit, calls and emails spiked by 64%, as NHS services closed and challenges such as telephone medical appointments, online meetings, and wearing facemasks took on major significance for people who stammer. The fantastic feedback we receive show just how importantly this service is valued.
Kirsten Howells, Helpline Support Manager, said “The team have become our barometer. They let us know what issues are arising, and guide us on developing new resources and services. I’m lost for words trying to describe the care, attention and passion they give to this service. They rock my world.”