A smashing way to raise awareness about stammering

Bob Adams chairman of the Doncaster Stammering Association lay on a bed of nails whilst concrete slabs were smashed on his stomach with a 14lb sledge hammer to raise awareness for the International Stammering Awareness Day on Monday 22nd October

Bob Adams chairman of the Doncaster Stammering Association lay on a bed of nails whilst concrete slabs were smashed on his stomach with a 14lb sledge hammer to raise awareness for the International Stammering Awareness Day on Monday 22nd October

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DONCASTER Stammering Association chairman Bob Adams proved he was hard of nails when he took part in a daredevil feat.

Bob, a performance artist, lay on a bed of nails whilst 25 slabs of concrete were smashed on his stomach with a 14lb sledge hammer to raise awareness about stammering.

The event was in the run up to International Stammering Awareness Day last Monday.

One per cent of adults suffer with a stammer worldwide, and of that number on average it’s four men to every female.

Bob told The Star: “People stereotype those who stammer and we wanted to make as many people as possible aware of stammering.

“We decided to put on an amazing display to stop people from just walking past.”

Attractions during the event involved African drummers, Beyond A Joke, fire shows, juggling and a mind power experiment.

“I had 25 slabs smashed on my stomach with a 14lb sledge hammer - the most I have done before was two!” explained Bob.

“My back was sore for about two days. We did raise awareness with about 1,000 people though. It was a fantastic day.”

Bob has had a stammer since the age of four but didn’t seek help for 31 years.

“Lots of people know people that stammer. Those who have a stammer are in denial, they feel shame, embarrassment, low self esteem and self worth,” said Bob.

“I didn’t talk about my stammer until I was 35. If I’d have seen a poster about stammering I would have avoided it so people wouldn’t think I was reading it because I had a stammer.

“I am now very open about it. I have had very good therapy with the NHS - I referred myself there and that was the first time I spoke with my parents about it.

“I used to change words which I knew were difficult to say, but this just builds on the fear rather than dealing with the problem.

“It’s not about the ability to speak without stammering, it’s about communicating well.”

The Doncaster Stammering Group (DSA) played host, for the third time, to the British Stammering Association national conference at the start of September at Lincoln University which was attended by 150 people from all over the world.

The group also recently received Arts Council funding to run arts workshops .

There is currently an exhibition called The Art of Communication on show at The Point, which ends on Friday December 2.

The group meets every second Wednesday at The Point.

For more information email dsagroup@hotmail.co.uk, phone 0794 4550540 or visit Doncaster Stammering Association

Details on the British Stammering Association can be found via Stammering

Anyone wishing to sponsor Bob for completing his daredevil stunt can still do so at Just Giving Bed of Nails