Nick Hewer is perhaps better known as host of Channel 4’s Countdown and as a former adviser to Lord Alan Sugar on the BBC’s The Apprentice. However, on November 28th, he will also be celebrated as the President of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) when he is awarded an honorary degree from Plymouth Marjon University, alongside Kamini Gadhok MBE, CEO of the RCSLT.
This year marks 25 years that the University has taught Speech and Language Therapy and the honorary awards recognise Nick and Kamini’s dedication to the profession – advocating for speech and language therapists and highlighting people’s communication and swallowing needs both in the UK and abroad.
Before becoming president of the RCSLT earlier this year, Nick Hewer already had connections to the profession, thanks to the speech and language therapists (SLTs) in his life - his partner Catherine McAllister, who trained as a SLT in the 1960s; the wife of his oldest pal; and his friend, Pam Enderby, emeritus professor at The University of Sheffield. Since becoming president of the RCSLT, Nick has put his communication skills to good use – boosting the profile of SLTs and the valuable role they play in the community – supporting and transforming people’s lives.
Nick Hewer, president of the RCSLT, said: “It’s a privilege to receive this degree. Speech and language therapists make vital differences to people’s lives – supporting individuals to communicate, eat, drink and swallow safely from birth to end of life. They assist premature babies to feed; support children’s early language and speech development; track patients’ cognitive abilities in awake-craniotomy operations; and much, much more besides, which is why I’m so proud to represent them.”
CEO of the RCSLT Kamini Gadhok MBE will also receive an honorary degree from Plymouth Marjon University, which acknowledges her ongoing contribution to the profession. Kamini qualified from Manchester University in 1983. She has held a plethora of roles within the NHS, including as a specialist speech and language therapist, when she established the first Asian Bilingual Co-worker service in England, before becoming a general manager and working as a civil servant in the Department of Health. As CEO of the RCSLT Kamini provides leadership at a national level, builds strategic partnerships and works to influence key government initiatives and policy developments, to improve outcomes for people with speech, language and communication needs.
Commenting on her honorary degree, Kamini Gadhok MBE, said: “I’m delighted to have been recognised in this way by Plymouth Marjon University and am so proud of the work all SLTs do and the impact they make on people’s lives.
“The RCSLT is poised to celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2020 and we’ll be using the whole year to reflect on speech and language therapy pioneers of the past, such as the organisation’s founding fellow Lionel Logue – speech and language therapist to King George VI. We look forward to celebrating the breadth of support SLTs provide to individuals today – from birth to end of life care. And, we’ll be looking ahead at how we can shape the profession so it can continue to transform people’s lives in the future.”
The 25-year anniversary; which is due to take place on the 28th November at Plymouth Marjon University; will include a Conferment of Honorary Degrees by the Vice-Chancellor - Professor Robert Warner, presentations, and invited speakers - followed by a reception.
Find out more about Speech and Language Therapy at Marjon
Back to Marjon News