Stephanie was a flamboyant, charismatic and determined entrepreneur who always thought of what she could do for others. During her early career as a speech and language therapist she recognised that the existing support for people affected by aphasia was inadequate, in 1985 Stephanie started Speakeasy in Bury, Greater Manchester, blazing the trail for long term, open-ended support for people with aphasia and their carers. It is a proud and well-told story of how she unashamedly begged, stole and borrowed equipment and resources to start up and fund Speakeasy in its earliest days. Over 36 years later, Stephanie’s legendary vision, passion and energy are still evident; she remained very involved in Speakeasy as a trustee, fundraiser and in delivering direct support. We will miss her.
It is one of Stephanie’s final wishes that after her death in August 2021, we should start a fundraising campaign to ensure Speakeasy’s continuity, especially in these challenging social and financial times. There are many ways you can help, give a one off or regular donation, and also consider how you can pledge to support with fundraising efforts in the future to keep Stephanie’s fund topped up.