Kelsey man takes on 1,000-mile conversation on stammering

Retired North Kelsey farmer Tim Fell is walking the length of the country to raise awareness of stammering EMN-170628-081504001
Retired North Kelsey farmer Tim Fell is walking the length of the country to raise awareness of stammering EMN-170628-081504001

Retired North Kelsey farmer Tim Fell is to walk the length of Britain to raise awareness of stammering - a cause close to his heart.

Tim has suffered from the speech condition since his days at Brigg Grammar School and is now Chair of the British Stammering Association (BSA), a post he took up earlier this year.

He plans to set off from John O’Groats for the 1,000 mile route on July 26 and reach Lands End in September.

And along the way, he will be inviting people to join him in a conversation about stammering.

He said: “Talking about stammering is a hugely important part of what the BSA is all about.

“Most of us find that talking about our stammer can be really helpful.

“In the past few years stammering has increasingly been the subject of discussion in the media. And the social climate is ripe to build on that momentum.”

He won’t be travelling in a straight line either.

Tim added: “A central element of the walk is to involve and include as many people as possible, to build on the strength of community feeling we know we have.”

Stammering affects 700,000 people across the UK.

Despite media attention over recent years, with films such as the King’s Speech and celebrities like Ed Sheeran, Ed Balls and Kelly Brown talking openly about their difficulties, stammering is still poorly understood and people who stammer are openly discriminated against.

Tim said: “Stammering affects hundreds of thousands of people regardless of background, profession, race, religion or politics.

“People who stammer often say that their speech makes them feel isolated and ashamed.

“We need to change the conversation around stammering from one of awkwardness to one of confidence.

“It’s only by talking about stuttering openly, by all of us, that society will understand the issues around it.”

This event will be the first of its kind to bring the stammering community together, and to share information with anyone who is interested in learning more.

Anyone is welcome to join the walk at any stage for as long or as short as they like.

Tim’s progress can be followed through the map on the BSA website, www.stammering.org/stamwalk or on Twitter @bsafell