Widow of Hampstead lecturer launches public speaking prize in his memory

Ahuva Cohen, Hampstead actress Valerie Colgan and Brian Daniels

Ahuva Cohen, Hampstead actress Valerie Colgan and Brian Daniels - Credit: Archant

An award promoting public speaking has been set up at a Hampstead school in memory of a lecturer and writer.

Alan Cohen, who died aged 79 in December, overcame dyslexia to become a public speaking expert who taught communication skills to doctors at the Royal Free Hospital in Pond Street, Hampstead, and lectured at the Institute of Education in Bloomsbury.

His widow Ahuva Cohen has now set up the Alan Cohen Memorial Prize for Public Speaking in partnership with Heathside Preparatory School in New End.

She visited, along with Hampstead actress Valerie Colgan and Brian Daniels, artistic director of the New End Theatre Beyond company, to present a silver cup to pupils Isabel Kuenzler and Ralph Jeffreys – the first recipients.

Ahuva, 65, who was press and marketing manager at the New End Theatre in New End, Hampstead, before it closed in 2011, said: “Heathside was chosen because it is a school of excellence that promotes debate and public speaking among the pupils – and that’s a very remarkable skill which wil equip them throughout life. Presenting the cup was very emotional, but it was something that I knew my husband would be very proud of. It is very satisfying seeing the youngsters carrying on in this skill that is not so much developed.”