Colin Lyall

Colin is the founder of Say Aphasia, with the support of friends who have aphasia.

He had a stroke in 2013 which resulted in him becoming aphasic. He began the charity three years later when another aphasia charity ceased to exist.

He knew first hand how much of a positive impact a support group has. And so he set up his own charity so that he could continue a much needed support group in his local area.

Colin was 50 when he had his stroke, and could not longer continue his career as a Director of a commercially designed building services solution company. 

He had worked at MTT Consultants for 12 years. After he had a stroke he could not return to work with his new condition 'aphasia'. He lost his successful career and his house which his wife had recently designed into their dream home.

Colin is an extremely positive and determined man, and so, he took it upon himself to set up a charity to help others just like him.

The charity has given him purpose, goals to achieve and a new sense of success.

He hopes that this charity will become that life line for others too.

Kate Swinburn

Kate joined Say Aphasia as a new trustee in 2021.

She is a Speech & Language Therapist.  

Past work: 

Kate worked in the NHS for 10 years  (in hospitals & in the community) 

and at Connect – training / publications / policy work until 2013. 

 Since 2013, she has done paid freelance work

  • for universities and charities 
  • voluntary work
    • supported vulnerable people attending court, 
    • parents who are struggling with young kids. 
    • advised local health services how to listen to patients (with and without communication disability).   

Future work:

Kate is really excited to be asked to work with Say Aphasia. 

Say Aphasia is a young charity, with dedicated leaders and committed members.  

It does brilliant work.  

Kate hopes to support Say Aphasia in having a strong, sustainable future.

Beyond work:

Kate lives in Bath, and has 3 grown up kids (one of whom lives in Brighton).  

She live with her husband, Richard and their Labrador Gertie.

Emma Virrill

Appointed to the Board of Trustees in September 2016

Emma worked at MTT as Colin’s PA for 7 years before he had his stroke.

She is pleased to now be a trustee of Say Aphasia to continue providing support.  

She hopes that her financial and administrative experience provides assistance to the day to day running of such a fantastic charity.

Ian Lyall

Appointed to the Board of Trustees in April 2022

Ian works in the financial services industry providing cash flow support to small and medium sized businesses across the UK. 
His role in the Say Aphasia charity is to oversee the financial position of the charity and ensure it has enough ongoing income to be able to continue to provide services to its members.
He is proud to be able to support Colin and the other trustees in this way.

Barbara Chalk

Appointed to the Board of Trustees in February 2023

Barbara is a retired NHS speech and language therapist who specialised with adults with aphasia and other neurological conditions.

Barbara has also worked as a personnel manager for a local business and is a director of an established online book business.

She founded and was Chair of the charity, Living with Aphasia, in Exeter which joined forces with Say Aphasia in 2022.

She believes in the positive impact the charity has on people living with aphasia.

She will support their dedicated team to sustain their strong and successful future.