Award for Fetcham charity pioneer

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The founder of the local charity Dyscover, Gill Jackson MBE, has received a national award for her work.

Gill, who lives in Fetcham, founded Dyscover in 1994, to help people suffering from a condition known as Aphasia, which affects speech, language and communication.

She shares the award, The Robin Tavistock Award, with the Dyscover charity, which is based in Leatherhead.

At the charity’s centres in Leatherhead and Kingston, Dyscover offers speech and language therapy, aimed at recovery, adjustment and participation.

Aphasia is a communication difficulty that is sometimes known as dysphasia.  It can be caused by a stroke, a tumour, a car accident, a blow to the brain or by a progressive neurological illness – anything that damages the ‘communication centre’ in the brain.  It’s estimated that 400,000 people in the UK have the condition.

We have received the following from Dyscover about Gill Jackson and the award.

"The Robin Tavistock Award is presented annually to an individual, or group, who is inspirational and who has made a significant contribution in the field of aphasia.  This is only the second time a joint Award has been given.

Whilst working as a Speech and Language Therapist in the NHS, Gill Jackson recognised the need for long term support for people with aphasia. In 1994, she set up Dyscover which has grown over the years and now become a beacon of excellence in the aphasia world. It is almost impossible to pinpoint what makes Dyscover so special, and so respected nationally and, increasingly, internationally, because there are so many qualities that stand out.  Critically, both Gill and Dyscover always put the person with aphasia at the heart of all that they do, combining gold standard level of professionalism with compassion, kindness and practical help.

Above all, Dyscover is a member led charity, that fulfils its mission ‘to help and empower people with aphasia, and all who support them, to manage their communication disability and re-engage with life’.  Significantly, all their groups and programmes are led or overseen by Speech and Language Therapists, supported by trained volunteers and this explains why Dyscover is synonymous with the word excellence."

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