Birmingham

Birmingham

The King's Speech: Cuts to government funding threaten £765m legacy of speech and language therapy

King George VI was helped to overcome his stammer by a Speech and Language Therapist. Now, the grandson of the therapist who supported King George is driving a campaign to stop the spending cuts.

In many areas, services have been cut by up to 30% so now the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) has launched a campaign against the cuts. Mark Logue, whose grandfather, Lionel, is played by Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech, is backing the therapists who help tens of thousands of stroke victims and young children overcome communication difficulties every year.

"The worth of speech and language therapies could not be more proven," said Logue, 45, whose grandfather helped found the RCSLT. "The net gain to the economy, quite apart from unlocking people from lives terribly limited by communication difficulties, makes an overwhelming case for the work of my grandfather, who after all saved a king, to be allowed to continue.

"He used the fees from his rich clients to fund the treatment for his poorer ones but no one who wrote to him was turned away. Lionel Logue came to Britain from Australia as the great Depression began. The value of the work he was doing was recognised in giving people a voice – that's what he worked for and what motivated him."

Logue has written a book based on his grandfather's letters and hopes it and the film will boost the Giving Voice campaign and highlight the social benefits of speech and language therapy (SLT).