Search

Ilford “Barnardo’s boy” overcomes stammer to become public speaker

PUBLISHED: 14:12 19 November 2015 | UPDATED: 14:12 19 November 2015

Brian Skelton with his public speaking area governor award. Picture Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant

Brian Skelton with his public speaking area governor award. Picture Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant

Archant

A lifelong stammerer has overcome his difficulty to become a governor at an international public speaking club.

Brian Skelton with his public speaking area governor award. Picture Ann-Marie Abbasah/ArchantBrian Skelton with his public speaking area governor award. Picture Ann-Marie Abbasah/Archant

Brian Skelton, 61, of Valentines Road, Ilford, was named Toastmasters district 91 area governor after being inspired to tackle his speech impediment by talent show star Gareth Gates.

Toastmasters is a not-for-profit organisation aimed at building public speaking confidence and leadership skills.

The British Museum security guard, who received his trophy on Saturday, said he felt emotional when he was given the title at an event in Reading last year.

“It came as a complete surprise when they read my name out,” said Brian.

“I felt really emotional as I often do when talking about how far I have come to the people who helped me.”

Brian attended the Starfish Project, East Sussex in 2005 and learned techniques derived from those taught to King George VI by Australian Lionel Logue, portrayed by Geoffrey Rush in the 2010 movie The King’s Speech.

There he was able to share his feelings with other people who stammered and disclose difficult events from his childhood which led him to grow up in Barnardo’s village, Barkingside.

He had decided to address his stammer after watching stuttering teenager Gareth Gates on talent show Pop Idol.

David Blight, who runs the three-day course with wife Anne, called Brian a wonderful man who returns to the project several times a year to help others.

David said: “Who better to teach others than someone who has walked a million miles in your shoes?”

Toastmasters has more than 130 clubs around the world. As area governor, Brian was required to speak in front of crowds at events around London.

While he once found life isolating, he now has a full social life and encourages others with similar difficulties to seek help.

Visit starfishproject.co.uk or call 01825 767268

Latest Ilford Stories

FA Youth Cup third qualifying round: AFC Rushden & Diamonds 2 Leyton Orient 3

The latest results from two of our local Essex Senior League clubs

10:00

Essex Senior League: Sporting Bengal United 5 Redbridge 1

08:00

New York Knicks Frank Ntilikina is excited about playing a match in London as it will give his family and friends a chance to watch him play.

10:44

Hundreds of friends and family paid their respects after a 23-year-old father-to-be was brutally murdered on his birthday in Hainault.

10:09

Four family members have been charged with modern slavery offences following dawn raids across east London.

07:00

Patients at King George Hospital face some of the longest waiting times for tests for bowel cancer but the hospital trust insists those who are suspected of having cancer are seen to within two weeks.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Struggling to find a buyer for your home in a slower market? We speak to Ilford property expert Nina Kaura from Portico about the Crossrail effect and why getting things right first time will get you the best price for your property.

Exchange Ilford is a shopping centre on a mission to make it a more welcoming and accessible place to the people of Redbridge.

An Ilford shoe retailer and podiatry practice is taking the next step with a move to a new shop just a few doors down.

Newsletter Sign Up

Ilford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now