10 December 2019

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.

For more information and images of the event, contact Alex Green at agreen@marjon.ac.uk , or Josephine Olley at Josephine.olley@rcslt.org

Information for editors

About the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists

The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) is the professional body for speech and language therapists in the UK, representing over 19,000 members. It facilitates and promotes research into the field of speech and language therapy – the care for individuals with communication, swallowing, eating and drinking difficulties. It promotes better education and training of speech and language therapists and is responsible for setting and maintaining high standards in education, clinical practice and ethical conduct. For more information on the RCSLT and its Giving Voice campaign visit www.rcslt.org

About Plymouth Marjon University

Plymouth Marjon University has a long history of education excellence. It was founded in London as the UK’s first teacher training institute, and in 2020 will celebrate its 180th anniversary. The University is based on a green and spacious campus close to the beautiful South West coast of Devon and Cornwall, the city of Plymouth and Dartmoor National Park.

The institution celebrates a string of recent good news, being ranked first in the South West and third in England for Courses and Lecturers in the WhatUni Student Choice Awards; being named the top university in England for Teaching Quality for the second year running, and in the Top 10 for Student Experience, by the Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019 and 2020; and latest governmental data (Longitudinal Education Outcomes) showing that graduates from Education and Teaching at Plymouth Marjon become the top earners in the South West.

The University is recognised as an open, welcoming university which develops outstanding graduates ready for the world of work. It offers expertise across business, social sciences, teaching and education; sport, and health and wellbeing.

Plymouth Marjon University is a certified social enterprise with the Social Enterprise Mark. The business incubator space ‘The Edge’, based within Marjon Business School, offers space, advice and a community for business start-ups, including support to their own students.

For more info visit marjon.ac.uk