Carol Concert 2015
Afasic Jazz Night at the Pheasantry
Afasic London to Cambridge Ride 2014
Carol Concert 2013
Elaine Delmar sings for Afasic
Afasic Bike Ride 2012
Survival of the Fittest
Gala Dinner
Golf Day
Adidas Women’s 5km Challenge
Coastline Challenge

Carol Concert 2015
Afasic carol concert 2015On Thursday, 3 December, Linda Lascelles and the Afasic team were delighted to help friends, supporters and members get into the festive spirit with the biennial Afasic Christmas Concert. Held at St Andrew Holborn, it was a beautiful setting for a fantastic event.

Leading the evening were three young people who have benefited from the work of the organisation; Damian Quinn, Kelly White, and Justin Butcher – and what a brilliant job they did! Encouraging guests to ‘give it some welly’ after the first Carol, the hosts provided reason for laughter and applause throughout the night. Performances by everyone were fantastic and memorable, with one guest stating it was ‘the best concert Afasic has ever held’.

Guests were treated to very entertaining readings from both Sir Derek Jacobi and John Bercow, who were joined by two pupils from Moor House School, Beth Lush and Masie Gibbs who did a brilliant job with their readings.

Music for the evening was provided by the Concordia Chamber Choir, conducted by Dr Andrew Storey, and Robert Meadmore, who admirably dashed over from a previous engagement to join us and perform two wonderful songs, accompanied by his pianist Matthew Freeman. Of the evening, Robert stated, ‘I just want to thank Afasic for inviting me back for the second time to this beautiful church. It really is one of the best concerts!’

In addition to our speakers and readers, it was a pleasure to once again have the signing choir from St Mary’s School & College taking part, and our thanks to the organist for the evening Martin Noble.

We are very grateful to all at St Andrew for hosting our concert once more, our volunteers on the night and especially our photographer Greg Keeling. There were over 200 people at the event and everyone seemed to have a very enjoyable time.

Special thanks go to; Tesco Holborn Viaduct, Budgens Tyso Street, Pret Farringdon Road and Pret Holborn Viaduct who donated mince pies for the evening, which went down a treat!

See the photo gallery >>

Afasic Jazz Night at the Pheasantry
On Saturday 13 September Afasic held its second jazz night at the Pheasantry in Chelsea, this time with the wonderful Salena Jones and her Sextet performing for us.


Salena and the band put on a great show to a packed room and everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. There was something for everyone in the repertoire and the quality of the music was top class; although the audience weren’t quite so good when Salena said it was their turn to join in and sing – hopefully with a bit more practice they will be better next time !?

There was very warm applause throughout the evening for Salena and the band that was thoroughly deserved. At the end Salena was presented with a special bouquet of flowers by our volunteer Charlotte to bring proceedings to a close.

Many thanks go to Salena for agreeing to support us in this way and to her agent Tony Puxley for all his help and support along the way, it really means a lot and is greatly appreciated. We are also grateful to everyone who bought a ticket and came along to the show, and for digging deep to contribute to the raffle and auction.

We also had a lot of generous donations of very special items for the raffle and auction and we are extremely grateful to everyone who made a contribution, including:

Abby Beverly (one of our Vice Presidents) who very kindly made a beautiful cushion that was snapped up early on; our President John Bercow who donated a signed bottle of ‘Speaker’s Whiskey’; Waitrose in Clerkenwell who donated a set of 6 bottles of wine; Kew Gardens for 2 tickets, The London Eye for 4 tickets; Peter Clarke for a bottle of Champagne; Pizza Express for a meal for 2; Eat 17 for some of their very tasty ‘Bacon Jam’; City Cruises for 2 tickets for a river trip; the Pottery Café for a voucher; Teamsport for a Go-Karting session; the Kia Oval for 4 tickets to a cricket match; and a very special mention for florists Moyses Stevens who kindly donated the flowers presented to Salena and a voucher for the raffle.

For the special auction items we are extremely grateful to Beaufort House who very kindly donated a year’s free membership of their private members’ club in the Kings Road; to David Guile for a very special bottle of Chateau Latour wine; Harlequins rugby club for a signed shirt, Arsenal for a signed football, and Tottenham Hotspur for a signed pennant.

The auction and raffle brought in just over £1,000 and with the ticket sales added on the overall total income from the night was about £2,500.

Our thanks also go to our volunteers on the night, Charlotte Ralph, James Sheldon, and Gareth Allen (our photographer for the night) for all their hard work; and of course to the Pheasantry and all their staff for hosting the event for us.

As a small specialist charity all your support really does make a difference to us and is greatly appreciated by everyone at Afasic. Here’s to the next one!

View the photo gallery >>

Afasic London to Cambridge Ride 2014

This year’s ride started at the Lee Valley Leisure centre and the cyclists gathered under a blue sunny sky (which is unusual for our rides) for an 8.30am start. Unfortunately 2 couldn’t make it due to injuries so there were 14, plus Ted, who set off along the river Lee towpath. All wore a ribbon in memory of our late Trustee Bryony Walker, Vice President Bob Hoskins, and past Chair Theresa Quinn, all of whom have sadly passed away in recent months.

All the riders managed to get up an early hill and then on through Epping Forest and onto part of the ‘Tour de France’ route into Epping. As the team passed through Epping the support crew say they saw Rod Stewart drive past, but they didn’t get the chance to ask him for a donation!


Once past North Weald the route went into the rolling Essex countryside, using mainly minor roads, with some glorious views and pretty villages to ride through. The morning drink stop was at Matching Green and the support crew did a great job persuading the local pub – The Chequers – to not only let us use their loos but also provide some jugs of iced water – much appreciated. There was also some secret recipe bread pudding made by Jan that went down very well. Our bike mechanic Jonathan set about replacing a gear cable on one bike that was having some problems and then we were off once more.

The lunch stop was at Molehill Green and it was here that we noticed that the yellow tops a lot of us were wearing seemed very attractive to the local insects, and so we had to take them off for a while to eat lunch without swarms of them around us!

In Newport the team had a very welcome pit stop with Lynn who had set up a cake sale in her front garden to raise funds for Afasic and support the cyclists. After some excellent homemade elderflower cordial and some very scrummy cakes we were cheered on our way again.

After a long slow uphill section, there was a glorious downhill ride into Ickleton with stunning open views that everyone enjoyed. Just after that Mark decided to cool off when he came off his bike going through a ford, unfortunately with no cameras around to capture the moment!

The afternoon drink stop was by the cricket green at Whittlesford in the welcome shade of a large beech tree as the sun was very warm by now. After some much needed refreshment and snacks the team were off for the final push into Cambridge. This was mainly achieved through a series of cycle tracks and paths that avoided the traffic, and so it was a bit of a shock when we suddenly came out near central Cambridge onto a road busy with people, bikes and vehicles!

Then it was on to the finish line at the back of King’s College, with a warm welcome from the support crew and the popping of corks for the celebratory drinks!

Well done to all our riders for taking part and for being such a great group of people to ride with. Our thanks go to Sam, Tim, Jonathan, Richard, John, Peter, Robert, Iwan, Jessie, Sue, Frances, Susan, Julia and Mark. And of course to ‘Ted’ for all his inspiration along the way!

Many thanks from all the riders to our support crews – the two drivers, Jan and Hilary, navigators Gemma and Sarah, photographer Gareth and not forgetting our 4 legged mascot Charlie the dog.

Finally a very big thank you to our route setter and inspiration behind our rides – Jonathan Edwards – we certainly couldn’t have done it without you!

Carol Concert 2013

Darren and the Duchess of Gloucester

Darren Lavender meets the Duchess of Gloucester

A very big thank you to everyone who supported our bi-annual Christmas Carol Concert, held at St Andrew, Holborn on Thursday 5 December. It was the perfect start to the festive season and the wine and mince pies were very popular!

We were honoured to be supported by our Patron, HRH The Duchess of Gloucester, who kindly did a reading and our President, John Bercow MP, who gave a moving speech about his personal experiences of SLCN and the importance of working together to raise awareness and funds.

We were also delighted to be joined by our Young Speaker, Darren Lavender, who travelled from Wales to share his experiences of life with SLCN and his achievements in work and with the Afasic Cymru Youth Group.

Afasic carol concertWe’re very lucky to have the continued support of Reverend Colin Midlane and Andy Sherwood who conducted both the Brighton & Hove Youth String Ensemble and the Brighton Chamber Choir. Their support and friendship is invaluable and we look forward to seeing them again in 2015! This year we were also very fortunate to be joined by the Signing Choir from St Mary’s School & College in Bexhill and West End star Robert Meadmore who sang a beautiful rendition of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Thanks also go to our wonderful volunteers who were a fantastic help on the night; Mark Darlow, Penny Hamilton-Dick and Marion Simpson plus long-time supporter Greg Keeling who took the photos. You can see a gallery of all the photos and Greg’s website includes lots more Afasic events and special occasions.

Elaine Delmar Sings for Afasic
Elaine Delmar sings for AfasicElaine hosted a wonderful fundraising evening for Afasic at The Pheasantry, one of the popular Pizza Express Live venues, on Saturday 27 April 2013.

The event was sold out with a mix of jazz fans and Afasic supporters who were treated to a fantastic performance by Elaine and the Brian Dee Trio.  Everyone was very generous, particularly the Hampstead Cake Company and Pizza Express who donated raffle prizes, and we raised close to £2,000.00.

Please keep an eye on the website for details of future events and if you would like to organise your own fundraiser, anything from a coffee morning to a sponsored walk or a dinner dance, then please visit our ‘Fundraise For Us’ section for lots of ideas plus details of our 45th Anniversary ‘Every Voice Counts’ Appeal.

Thank you for your support!

Afasic London to Brighton Bike Ride 2012
Afasic Bike Ride 2012On the 14 July thirteen brave riders gathered in Catford to start our charity bike ride to Brighton, some 60 miles away.

The weather was not at all kind to us, with rain (ranging from light to ‘downpour’) falling for most of the time and only rare glimpses of the sun. There was also lots of standing water, with many roads resembling rivers or lakes!

However, despite the adverse weather conditions, everyone remained cheerful and the miles were soon rolling by. Our bike mechanic (and route setter) Jonathan was kept busy with 3 punctures along the way, and a few other mechanical issues as well.

The route took us through some very pretty parts of the country (well, the bits we could see anyway) and avoided the main roads wherever possible, using cycle paths and country lanes, to make it a bit more pleasurable. There was no avoiding the hills though, and there were certainly a few of those along the way!

Huge congratulations to all our riders who coped so well with what were really atrocious weather and road conditions without a single moan or groan – you should all be very proud of yourselves! So well done to Judy, Sue, Jo, Line, Sam, Tim, Frances, Adam, Uzma, Razina, Iwan, Jonathan and Mark.

Many thanks to our support crew of Nichola, Sarah, Hilary and Jan who kept making sure everyone was ok, providing snacks and encouragement along the way.

Our biggest thank you is to Jonathan, who is the inspiration behind our rides, for setting the route, keeping everyone moving with repairs along the way, and acting as ‘tail end Charlie’ to make sure all were ok. Well done again to everyone who took part – we hope more people will join us for our next event!

Survival of the Fittest
Scot Greathead and Chris Wade of VideoProfiling have pledged to raise a fantastic £5,000 for the Afasic Youth Project and have a number of challenges and fundraising ideas lined up to achieve this.

As they point out on their JustGiving page, the Youth Project is “the only dedicated Youth Club you can go to in London if you are a young person with speech, language and communication difficulties. If this project closes, there will be no place in London where young people with communication difficulties can go to hang out, meet people and learn skills which they can use to become more independent and get the most out of their lives.”

The first event they entered was an unforgiving 10k obstacle race in Battersea Park called “The Survival Of The Fittest“, which took place on Saturday November 12th. The course is renowned for being incredibly gruelling, and has been described as a test of stamina, grit, speed and guts, which included ice baths and a 10ft wall!  Scot and Chris completed this first challenge, and have so far raised nearly £500 for the Youth Project!

They’ll also be taking on plenty of other challenges throughout the year, and we’ll keep you updated with their progress.

If you’re interested in supporting Scot and Chris please visit their JustGiving page, or text VIDE99 £5 to 70070.  If you want to donate more or less, just change the amount!

Gala Dinner
Afasic’s first ever Gala Dinner took place on Monday 10th October at Delfina, in London.

Over 200 guests attended the glittering event and were welcomed by the charity’s President, John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons.

The evening was hosted by actress Genevieve Barr, who introduced us to Abby Beverly, a young person with communication problems.  Abby wowed the audience by delivering an entertaining and moving talk about her life, discussing how she overcame her difficulties to get a degree at Central St Martins in textile design.

However, for many, the highlight of the evening was undoubtedly Sir Derek Jacobi, star of stage, screen and TV who was interviewed by Eleanor Oldroyd, who has been a journalist and reporter for BBC Sport for over 20 years.  Sir Derek spoke passionately about his longstanding career, and even had time to answer a few taxing questions from the audience!

Derek Jacobi said “I am delighted to support such a wonderful organisation, which can make such a difference to the lives of children and young people affected by speech and language problems. It was a wonderful evening and I was very pleased to be involved. I hope that Afasic will gain more supporters as a result, to help them unlock the potential of many more children in the future.”

TV auctioneer Charlie Ross conducted our auction, and managed to prise over £13,000 from the pockets of the audience.  Lots included a beautiful piece of artwork from ‘In the Night Garden’ signed by creator Andy Davenport, and a pair of special guest tickets to see QI being filmed and meet Stephen Fry and Alan Davis!

We would like to pass on a huge thank you to everyone who supported the event, through buying tables, participating in the auction, or donating prizes.

For more images of the event, visit our photo gallery.  Photographs courtesy of Greg Keeling.

Golf Day
golfday-ssOn the 14 September 2012 we hosted our 5th Annual Charity Golf Day at The Shire, London. We were joined by long-term and new golfing supporters for an early breakfast in the Clubhouse before a full 18 hole round on the stunning Seve Ballesteros designed course.

Following tradition for this event we had great September weather and our teams competed for the Afasic Championship title alongside Nearest the Pin and Longest Drive challenges.

1st Prize Winners were Ian Gladen, Terry Fletcher, Luke Fletcher and John Rodger representing Nedbank Capital. The team have been joining us for three years and are great supporters of Afasic.

Congratulations to our Nearest the Pin challenge winners Alan Pettit and Vinnie Petrozzi and to Simon Starling for winning the Longest Drive.

After the obligatory 18th hole team photo there were drinks in the bar and a superb three course meal before the prize giving, raffle and lively auction. We have had lots of great feedback from this year’s golfers and we raised almost £7,000.00!

Please view our gallery of photos from the golf day.

Adidas Women’s 5km Challenge
Well done to the ladies who took part in the annual Adidas Women’s 5km Challenge in Hyde Park on Sunday 11 September 2011.

All of our team successfully completed the run in time to avoid the downpour that followed!

We are very grateful to all those who took part, their supporters and all those who sponsored them, it really is greatly appreciated. As a small charity the income from this event makes a real difference to us.

Unfortunately due to the Olympics, the Adidas Women’s 5k Challenge won’t be taking place in 2012.  However, we will be putting on an alternative event – so watch this space!

Coastline Challenge
Throughout 2010 and 2011, we challenged our supporters across the UK to walk, run or cycle around the coastline of the UK, to raise money for Afasic.

Many of you participated, covering distances from 2 miles to 200 miles, raising over £X in the process.  A big thank you to all of you who took part.

Participants in the Coastline Challenge included Marysia Nash, Gemma Wilson and Gill Earl, who walked part of the coast between Edinburgh and Dunbar. Marysia says “Gemma, Gill and I started on Saturday 2nd April and walked about 12 miles between Aberlady and North Berwick in East Lothian. It was a fabulous afternoon and we had already raised some sponsor money. On the second weekend we walked from Portobello to Preston Pans. We got the dogs to model the t-shirts and people at Portobello prom were so taken with the models that one person gave a spontaneous donation!”.

To read more of our Coastline Challenge Success Stories, visit our blog.

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