Eaglesham teacher’s British Empire Medal inspires fellow stammerers in Canada

Adam Black received his British Empire Medal at a ceremony earlier this month.
Adam Black received his British Empire Medal at a ceremony earlier this month.

An Eaglesham teacher who was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to raising awareness of stammering after overcoming his own speech struggles has provided inspiration to a fellow stammerer half way round the world.

Our story of Adam Black receiving his honour at East Renfrewshire Council headquarters in Giffnock from Lord-Lieutenant Colonel Peter McCarthy has been picked up and shared by a stammerer in Canada.

Michel Parizeau, from Montreal in Quebec, said he was in awe when he read the article.

Writing to the Extra, Michel said: “Wow! This prestigious award from Queen Elizabeth reflects not only the compelling work done by Mr Black to help his fellow stammerers, but also the magnitude of this award in itself will bring much attention to both stammering and its treatment.”

He added: “I just hope that Adam Black’s recognition with a British Empire Medal will receive major media coverage throughout the UK because it will serve to foster a better understanding of stammering as well as help some stammerers explore speech therapy.”

Adam uses the power of the media to help others, widely publicising his stutter to ensure that fellow sufferers, and particularly children with the disability, can feel confident and never give up on their aspirations.

Since 2008, Adam has been running a support group where people in similar situations can share their experiences and work on ways of coping with their disability.

At the ceremony earlier this month, Provost Jim Fletcher said: “I am delighted that an East Renfrewshire resident who has helped improve the lives of many young people living with a stammer has been recognised with the prestigious British Empire Medal. Speech fluency affects people from every culture, status and age group and Adam’s work to help others embrace stammering is incredibly vital.”

Lord-Lieutenant Colonel Peter McCarthy said the British Empire Medal was a hugely fitting honour for Adam, who has worked tirelessly over the last decade to campaign for equality for those living with a stammer.

Adam, who has just started a new role working in the Communication Support Service within Williamwood High School. said: “I am honoured and extremely proud to be presented with a British Empire Medal. I am over the moon to be recognised in this way and I hope that I can continue to raise awareness of stammering and encourage others to embrace their stutter for many years to come.”