When I began stammering, at a very early age, few had any experience of the affliction and visits to my GP produced no results. After several years I was introduced to a speech therapist but, by then, 'the die was cast'.
Thankfully, for the past 30 years we have had The British Stammering Association which is one of the largest organisations of its kind in the world. It is respected by the government of the day and recently advised on the Bercow Report relating to services for children who stammer.
Having lived with a stammer all my life, I appreciate the importance of what BSA does, and I want that to continue after my death. For example, BSA spends much time and money in trying to ensure that children get help at an early age when it is most effective. A legacy received recently helped the BSA provide specialist training to NHS speech therapists, so that pre-school children who stammer get therapy when it is of most help and will likely never have to stammer again. BSA's work for adults is also vital, including the helpline and events.
Having been BSA's Treasurer for many years, I also know how much this costs! BSA has annual expenditure of over £250,000. Membership subscriptions are purposely kept low so that everybody can benefit - they represent only 10% of income. The remainder comes from grants and donations, including legacies.
I want to help this work continue, but like most people at the present time I am 'hard up'. A legacy seems a painless way of donating as 'I cannot take it with me'. It is tax efficient since bequests to registered charities such as the BSA do not attract Inheritance Tax. Please be assured that a gift of any size - BSA has received legacies of £500 to £93,000 - will be appreciated and will make a huge difference in its ability to provide a better future for thousands of children and adults affected by stammering.
From the Spring 2009 issue of Speaking Out.
If you have any queries about leaving a legacy, contact Norbert Lieckfeldt at the BSA office: tel 020 8983 1003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.