A YOUNG man, who learned how to manage his stammer and helped Swindon children with similar problems, has picked up two awards.
Jack Fradgley was named Young Person of the Year and won an Outstanding Achievement award from sponsors Pearson Assessment at the Communication Trust’s Shine a Light Awards after judges heard how he learned to cope with his stammer while helping other young people with similar difficulties.
Jack, 18, was nominated for the awards by speech therapists from Swindon Council, following his work with The Fluency Trust, a charity that works with the council to provide residential courses for young people between the ages of 10 and 17 who stammer.
The council provides funding for the course’s speech and language therapy support, while the charity raises funds to pay for outdoor adventure centre Skern Lodge in Devon, where the five-day residential is held each summer.
The awards, hosted by TV and radio presenter Paul Ross and held at Pearson’s London HQ in the Strand, were first developed as part of 2011’s Hello campaign – the national year of communication.
This is to honour individuals, teams, projects and communities who demonstrated excellence in supporting the needs of all children and young people’s communication, particularly those with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).
The judges heard how Jack spent years avoiding situations where he would have to speak to people because of his stammer.
He suffered from low self-esteem and was bullied as a result of his difficulty with speaking.
In 2009, he attended a residential course with the Fluency Trust, which enabled him to learn skills for controlling his stammer and communicating effectively.
Jack, who lives in Brize Norton, found the course to be so useful he returned several times to mentor other young people who have similar difficulties.
Jack said: “The course and the Fluency Trust changed my life. They gave me a new confidence as well as techniques that I will take with me through the rest of my life.
“I am now eager to grasp new opportunities and pursue my aspirations. It was fantastic to return to the course and help others grow in the same confidence.”
Coun David Renard, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “I would like to congratulate Jack for overcoming his stammer and using his experiences to help other young people to do the same.
“These awards are fully deserved because he is an inspirational young man who continues to challenge himself and is committed to helping others.”
Jack volunteers at a special needs school for children with moderate difficulties, giving his time to help others with their communication issues, and gave an interview to Children in Need this year to raise awareness about people who stammer.
He is currently taking part in the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and is hoping to study chemistry at Durham University when he leaves school.
For information on the Fluency Trust charity, visit www.thefluencytrust.org.uk For more information about the Shine a Light Awards, visit www. thecommunicationtrust.org.uk