Local charity lends helping hand to NHS service supporting people who stammer

A local charity, the Lodge of Harmony 580, has donated a wide range of books, games and equipment to the Willy Russell Centre to help support children and adults of all ages who stammer.

Mike Ellis, a member of Lodge of Harmony 580, a local Masonic Lodge, stammers and, having had little support as a child, saw the value in the work being done by the Willy Russell Centre and wanted to help.

Over the last year Mike and his wife, Sue, along with members of the Lodge of Harmony, have been holding fundraising events, cake sales and a zip wire challenge to raise £1200 for this local NHS service.

Books, equipment and toys have been purchased for the service.

The Willy Russell Centre is a Liverpool based NHS service that supports children and adults of all ages who stammer.

Whilst there is no ‘cure’ for stammering, professional and highly experienced Speech & Language Therapists aim for clients to develop confidence and effective communication skills, according to their individual needs and aspirations.

Stammering affects about 1 in every 100 adults, and 5 in 100 children under 5 years.

He explained his motivation to help the Willy Russell centre: “I wanted to help the Willy Russell Centre provide opportunities for others that I was not able to have, so that they can achieve their full potential”

“The Willy Russell Centre is truly amazing, supporting so many people across Liverpool and helping to change their lives and give them confidence. Having seen the excellence of their work first hand and the impact that it is having, I knew I had to help. Services like this are so often overlooked and I am delighted to have been able to help”.

Mary Collings, Clinical Lead for the Willy Russell Centre, explains:

“The support we have received from Mike and Sue has been wonderful. They have dedicated their time to fundraise and donate much needed equipment and books to the service, which will, of course, be of immense benefit to our clients”

“Our philosophy at the Willy Russell Centre is that anyone is capable of change, despite the obstacles in their path, and that stammering does not have to define or restrict them from achieving their potential”.

By providing the service to all age groups in the one location, the Willy Russell Centre can meet the needs of clients and their families at key periods of transition, from child to adulthood e.g. starting secondary school, university or college, pursuing their chosen career etc.

Successful teenagers and adults act as role models, sharing their knowledge and experience of facing these challenges with newer clients and families.

The Willy Russell Centre runs an open referral system, which means that anyone living within Liverpool can contact the service directly to make a referral to this Specialist Speech and Language Therapy service.

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