I’m Matt Wilton from Somerset and I have had a stammer ever since I can remember and School and college days were hard as I used to avoid situations like away football matches as I may have to speak on the school bus!
English was the worst feeling as I used to skip lessons when I knew I had to read out in class. Having a surname Wilton meant that I was a ‘W’ so I had to wait and wait to read and the fear used to really build up! I had a covert stammer, which meant I became a pro at avoiding words, sounds and situations. I could never say B, D and G words so I used other words to replace them.
I was working in Tesco and stacking shelves with no future at the age of 26 when my brother, who also stammers, decided to attend The McGuire Programme. I was sure it would not help me as nothing else did, but I went along anyway. During the first two days, I had my stammering negative head-on and refused to let it help. Then on Friday, the breathing and confidence clicked into place and I have not looked back since.
Within 9 months I was Grocery manager at another Tesco store, in charge of 30 people … I could at last speak on the phone, tannoy and run meetings at work, something I would never ever have attempted before.
I have since been travelling to New Zealand, qualified as a Youth worker, able to earn money from my passion, photography and am now training to be a professional life coach, coaching fluent speakers with their life issues! Me, a stammerer….coaching fluent speakers on the phone with their problems, what a buzz that is!
Me, a stammerer….coaching fluent speakers on the phone with their problems, what a buzz that is!!!!
In 2003, I was given the chance to be Regional Director of the McGuire Programme. I love trying to give stammerers the belief that this programme can change their life if they really want it enough. I also love running the courses and supporting the new graduates when they come off the course and maintaining the support they need.
It’s unbelievable how far you can come if you are honest, work hard and use the support network
It’s unbelievable how far you can come if you are honest, work hard and use the support network. I have grown as a person because I have had a stammer and it’s an amazing feeling being in control of it … at last!