Each year we celebrate the memory of one of our inspirational members, Mr Martin Coombs, and award members of the McGuire Programme who have contributed to the success of the program and have achieved so much on their own personal journey beyond stuttering with the Bill Bottle Award.
As many of our members know, Martin Coombs was an amazing guy who did so much for people who stuttered. He was an icon on the McGuire Programme and dedicated his life to helping others. Martin was my personal coach and without Martin, I don’t know where I would be now with my own speech.
The Bill Bottle Award was created in memory of Martin. You are probably thinking why call the award ‘Bill Bottle’?
Martin changed his name to ‘Bill Bottle’ in order to overcome and work on his fear of words and sounds beginning with the letter ‘b’. A great way to incorporate sounds when introducing yourself to strangers – “Bill Bottle is my name, nice to meet you.”
We introduced the ‘Bill Bottle Award’ a few years ago and previous winners were Hannah Datama 2020 and Umarah Hussain 2021
Hannah played a big part in developing the now very successful online courses for The McGuire Programme which started during the lockdown in 2020. Another area that Hannah is committed to is leading the London Support Group and is also an amazing coach and instructor in the program.
Umarah Hussain another previous winner of the award, worked tirelessly to get control of her really challenging stutter which held her back in almost all situations. Since her first course in 2020, she has become a much-respected primary school teacher and is now a coach on the McGuire Programme.
During our Newcastle course in early November 2022, we awarded the Bill Bottle Award 2022 to Henry Foster a young man of 16 years of age. Henry joined the programme at the beginning of 2022 and has worked relentlessly on his speech, dedicating tons of time and effort in order to overcome his stutter: all vital qualities that Martin Coombs had in abundance.
Henry is a regular attendee on courses in the UK Region and has worked very hard on changing his behaviour and his mindset by doing lots of things such as presentations and school assemblies and using the all-important McGuire Programme support network which is a huge game-changer for our members.
Henry also is a great influence on other members and never holds back, pushing himself forward at every opportunity.
Congratulations to Henry from all members of the McGuire Programme for inspiring us and I hope many members young and old will take note of where hard work and commitment can get you.
And thank you Martin Coombs for being you!