Alex Kelly is our managing director and if you had to describe her in 4 words they would probably be: positive, enthusiastic, hardworking and driven. She has nearly 30 years of experience as a speech therapist and is driven by her desire to make social communication easier for young people. She often talks about wanting 3 things for children when they leave school – for the child to feel happy with who they are, for them to have friends and for them to be able to succeed at something or get a job. These 3 things will have an impact on that child’s happiness and quality of life. She therefore believes all children should be helped to develop a healthy self-esteem and good social skills and she spends much of her year working with schools around the country to help them to do this effectively.
Alex set the company up in 2007 whilst working as a manager of speech therapy services in Hampshire. Her initial plan was to continue her passion for helping people who struggle with their social skills, self-esteem or friendship skills. However, she soon realised that schools needed more support with meeting the needs of children with communication difficulties and so she started employing SLTs and offering schools an affordable package that included a reliable SLT service that was adapted to meet the school’s wishes and needs and that she supervised and managed. She also continued to offer training in communication and social skills and spent much of her time working in Wales with Afasic Cymru and also running communication courses for Hampshire County Council.
In 2011 she recognised the need for a day service for adults that had a communication and social skills focus, so along with her husband, Brian Sains, she opened Speaking Space – a day service for adults with autism and/or learning disabilities. Brian is the other director of the company and has 10 years’ experience as a learning disability nurse and then he trained as a teacher in ICT and spent 5 years working in secondary mainstream schools. Brian and Alex live in Hampshire and have 3 boys – Ed, Pete and George.