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Pub landlady to host open day for stammerers
A PUB landlady who struggled with a stammer for decades is hosting an open day to help others.
Mother-of-three Lorraine Small-wood, 53, said her speech impediment affected her so badly she dared not even pick up the phone for years.
Six years ago she took a McGuire course, which she sayd transformed her life.
She was able to go from working part-time in the Augustus John public house in Fordingbridge to taking over the pub, running the B&B as well, and taking those all-important phone bookings with a new confidence.
Now her children have grown up and her business is established she wants to start helping other people with stammers – estimated to be between three and five per cent of the population.
She said: “At the moment we only have an informal support group locally, but in November I am going to train to be a coach, which will make it an official group.
“Embarrassment and shame prevent stammerers from doing so much – the telephone is a nightmare. I felt very isolated growing up, because I knew only one other person with a stammer. It’s only now I know it’s much more widespread.
“I’ve met so many inspirational people on the programme – really amazing people who have gone on to do amazing things after going on the programme.
“The programme starts with a four-and-a-half-day course, then you have a lifelong programme with a fantastic support network – the coaches and course instructors are all stammerers.”
On Saturday, October 19 from 11am to 1pm Mrs Smallwood will be holding an open day at the pub in Station Road, where sufferers can find out more about stammering and hear from McGuire graduates who have taken control of their speech.
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