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From growing up with a profound stutter to dream job.

The McGuire Programme

Beyond Stuttering

Luke Birtwistle

Doors are no longer closed to me, and that is thanks to the McGuire Programme. The Programme has allowed me to take control of my life, and live a life that I want to live and not just a life that I feel I am able to live.
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Growing up I always aspired to work in a role supporting young people whether that be as a teacher, a social worker or in a residential setting. However, I also grew up with a profound stutter. Despite support and encouragement from family, these two things appeared impossible to go hand in hand. I never felt like I would be able to be a teacher, social worker or residential support worker when I often struggled to say my own name. I felt destined to be in a mind-numbingly dull office job sat behind a computer all day and going through life speaking as little as possible.

11 LukeBirtwhistle UK

This was until I joined the McGuire Programme in 2017, aged 21 having just graduated from University. From the first day of my debut course I knew that if I worked hard at it, I could take control of my stutter. I saw how in control the Regional Director, Course Instructors, Coaches and Graduates were. And to tell you the truth, I wanted a piece of the action!

The last three years have been a journey. I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s easy because it’s not. But nothing worth having in life comes easy. It’s hard work – that’s a fact. If you put in the hard work however, you will reap tremendous rewards.

What is my ‘tremendous reward’ I hear you ask? Well, I am not working in an office job. I sit here, typing to you nearly three years after my first course, having just come home from a hard day as a team leader in a children’s home.

Doors are no longer closed to me, and that is thanks to the McGuire Programme. The Programme has allowed me to take control of my life, and live a life that I want to live and not just a life that I feel I am able to live.

Not only, am I able to work in a job that I’ve always aspired to work in but I and my employer both see my stutter as a positive. Yes, you read that correctly. And, no your eyes are not deceiving you. My stutter is my superpower (I’m not quite as cool as Batman though sadly)! Having a stutter has taught me empathy, resilience, and hard work. And through the McGuire Programme, I have been taught that a door is never closed – it may be hard to open but give it a hard push and you will open it. In my job, this is a hugely important message to get through to the young people in my care. In fact, after I disclosed to my employer in my interview and was open and honest about working on my stutter, he told me that it was a major reason in deciding to hire me.

Luke Birtwistle – UK

Doors are no longer closed to me, and that is thanks to the McGuire Programme. The Programme has allowed me to take control of my life, and live a life that I want to live and not just a life that I feel I am able to live.

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Luke found a way to pursue his dream job that he never thought possible with his profound stutter

Name

Luke Birtwistle

Region

United Kingdom

First Course

June 2017

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