About the Michael Palin Centre

How the MPC started

The Michael Palin Centre opened in 1993 as a joint undertaking between the charity the Association for Research into Stammering Childhood (now Action for Stammering Children) and the local NHS Trust (then called Camden & Islington Community Health Services Trust). This was founded on the established and internationally renowned work of a team of specialist therapists who had been working with children who stammer since the early seventies, led by Dr Lena Rustin.

Three people were, between them, the driving force that brought the opening of the Michael Palin Centre about.

Dr Lena Rustin

Lena was a specialist speech and language therapist and, at the time, head of the Camden and Islington Speech and Language Therapy Service. She was known nationally and internationally for her work in stammering and in particular for involving parents in therapy, something that was relatively rare at the time. It was Lena’s longstanding wish to establish a centre of excellence in the UK which would provide specialist therapy for children who stammer.

Travers Reid

Travers, a prominent businessman at the time, had his own experience of stammering as a child. This convinced him of the need for a specialist centre to help children who stammer. Travers was the Co-Founder, Life President and first Chair of Action for Stammering Children and it was Travers who approached Michael and asked him to consider giving his name to the Centre. Each year the Travers Reid Award is presented to a graduating speech and language therapy student for excellence in their research project. Travers’s enormous commitment to helping children who stammer and their families is remembered by all at the Michael Palin Centre.

Sir Michael Palin

Michael gave his name to the centre and became a Vice President of Action for Stammering Children in 1993. His understanding of the impact that stammering can have on individuals originally came from his awareness of his own father’s experience as a person who stammers. Michael’s unfailing support over many years and genuine connection with families and young people when he visits has helped us immeasurably.


Michael Palin and Travers Reid
Michael Palin and Travers Reid
About the Michael Palin Centre

Sometimes you just need someone to talk to


Sometimes you just need someone to talk to

Our Helpline, 020 3316 8100, is open during office hours (9am-5pm) and voicemail messages can be left when the office is closed.

“The MPC ACT course has had an immediate impact on my practice as an SLT working with young people with a stammer. All the practical activities meant that I was able to implement elements of this approach literally the next day with empowering results for my teenage clients. Its emphasis on acceptance makes it an important resource for all therapists and essential for those working with people who stammer.”


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Charitable donations to the Michael Palin Centre are administered by The Whittington Health Charity, Registered Charity Number 1056452 www.whittingtonhealthcharity.org. For this purpose alone, The Whittington Health Charity will also hold your details. We take your privacy seriously and will never sell or swap your details with other third parties. You can withdraw your consent to be contacted at any time by calling 020 3316 8100 or by emailing [email protected] Information about how the Trust protects personal data is set out in our privacy policy.
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