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/Archant Brian 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

Just over five years ago, the Ilford Recorder ran a front page article with the headline “Police swoop on the homeless taking sleeping bags and food parcels in co-ordinated raids in Redbridge”.

Yesterday, 19:15

Essex (206 & 88-4) trail Nottinghamshire (380 & 266) by 352 runs

Yesterday, 17:00

Ilford singer Kal Lavelle who has supported acts like Ed Sheeran and Bastille has just launched her first album For The Loved and Lost which in the first week charted in the top 50 albums on Itunes. Here she shares her thoughts on the borough.

Yesterday, 17:00

After an excellent win at Chelmsford last weekend, spirits are high for Billy Gordon’s team ahead of Saturday’s game against Ilford

Yesterday, 16:33

Brazil and Costa Rica were winless in their opening matches at the World Cup and were both hoping for their first victory of the tournament at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

Yesterday, 16:02

The daughter of a Woodford Green driving instructor who killed her sister in a horrific crash in South Woodford has been spared jail after a judge said no sentence could punish her more than her loss.

Yesterday, 16:00

Valentines Park side looking to bounce back after 93-run loss at home to Chingford last weekend

Yesterday, 15:19

There is no service on the TfL Rail line between Liverpool Street and Ilford this afternoon.

PROMOTED CONTENT

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

Redbridge estate agents Sandra Davidson answer the common questions homeowners have when it comes to selling their home, and reveals how you can make sure the sale is stress-free

Redbridge Estate agents Sandra Davidson’s hassle-free service guarantees rental income for your property, whether it is occupied or not. Here they share details of the Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it can help you avoid the regular stresses associated with managing a let.

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

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