Westminster Abbey Christmas Carol Service

Once again we were delighted to be invited to the Princess of Wales’ Christmas Carol Service at Westminster Abbey earlier in December. The service is a ‘moment to thank all those who work to support babies, young children and families’ and aims to being people together at Christmas time.

The lucky recipients of tickets this year were Julie Hall, our Services Manager; Claire Hughes, one of our consultants; Claire Harvey, our Head of Education; Lynne Adamson, one of Specialist Teachers; and Gill, our very recently retired Assessments Manager.

In Julie’s words, they had ‘amazing seats’ at the front of the Abbey with a great view of all the royals in attendance. Here is what Lynne had to say about this special afternoon:

‘Wow! I feel so lucky and privileged to have attended Carols at Westminster Abbey. It was a truly magical and heart-warming experience.

From the surprise mince pie to keep us going as we queued, to the awe as we entered the vast, beautifully decorated aisle, the eager anticipation was palpable as the expectant audience waited. Finally, the huge beam of the TV camera rising and turning to face the main aisle, was the signal that royalty had arrived and clutching our lit white candles, a solo choir boy’s voice began the first notes of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. We were in for a treat!

There were celebrities galore, readings and poetry, poignant songs and great company from my fellow companions.

Afterwards, there was feverish photo taking from everyone as we walked slowly out, to secure this incredible experience as treasured memory keepsakes!’

And here are Gill’s thoughts:

‘There was such a happy vibe on Friday. While queuing outside we apparently looked like we were struggling to take a group selfie with the Abbey in the background so a kindly police officer offered to take the photo for us. Then once through security we were offered delicious mince pies.  Very welcome.

So many people (perhaps the Princess’s friends and supporters) greeted everyone passing by, imploring us to have a good time. The Abbey really was absolutely stunning. It was so full of rich colours and beautiful trees and decorations.

We were seated pretty early but the time flew by as we people watched. A few celebs walked along the aisle in front of us.  A young lad behind us caused a laugh when he excitedly shouted out “It’s Adam Lambert!”. Adam Lambert [a singer, if you don’t know]  heard him and duly beamed and waved!

Such memories to treasure for a long time.  Thank you so much for the opportunity. ‘

 

By |2024-04-24T09:30:15+01:00December 22nd, 2023|Homepage featured, Latest news, Team blog|0 Comments

CEO’s blog – Supporting Learners with Dyslexia, and the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary

Those of you who already subscribe to the Helen Arkell e-newsletter will have seen our latest exciting news. For those of you who don’t, here it is …

On behalf of all of us at Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity, I am absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of a new partnership with TV Dragon, Retail Entrepreneur and longstanding dyslexia champion Theo Paphitis and Ryman Retail Limited. Together we will launch the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary, giving us the opportunity to offer free training to teachers and teaching assistants from state schools around the UK.

Starting with 50 free training spaces, the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary will enable the state school sector to take part in the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity’s 6-week online ‘Supporting Learners with Dyslexia’ course, free of charge for teachers or teaching assistants.

To apply for a bursary-funded place on this course as part of the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary, teachers and teaching assistants from state schools are invited to complete a basic application form here.

Other pay-as-you-go places are available on this course for people who do not work in state schools: simply book your place here.

The aim of the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary is to particularly support state schools where there are young people from low-income families, by giving them access to the expertise and guidance of Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity regarding the best ways to support young people with dyslexia. Theo Paphitis said: “I am delighted to create the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary, supported by one of our key partners, the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity. Many have a story with dyslexia, either through their own story or someone close to them, and through this Bursary and further work in the dyslexia area we want to make sure that as many stories as possible are positive ones.”

Helen Arkell’s aim is to remove barriers to learning, employment and life for more and more people with dyslexia, regardless of ability to pay, and we are indebted to Theo Paphitis and Ryman for helping us to achieve this.

Applications for the 50 free places on this course will be considered on a first-come-first-served basis.

It is important to stress that this course is also available to people who do not work in state schools, but a charge is made.

The course comprises 18 hours of learning. Participants will be shown lots of useful, tried and tested strategies to enable them to support learners effectively. Recordings will be sent out after each session so that participants can watch afterwards if unable to attend the live session, or if they would like to watch again!

Please do let your networks know about the above opportunities, whether they work in state schools and can apply for a free place, or whether they work in non-state schools, in which case they can book separately.

A huge, huge thank you to Theo Paphitis and Ryman Retail Limited for partnering with Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity on this initiative!

Onwards and upwards
Andy

PS If you’d like to subscribe to our e-news so you hear about these sorts of things first, just click here.

*Please note: all 50 Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary places have now been awarded. If you would like to be added to a waiting list, in the event that this opportunity is repeated in the future, simply complete a short application form: Application Form

Non bursary places are still available, but the normal fee will apply. Full details.

By |2024-04-24T09:30:16+01:00December 14th, 2023|CEO blog, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Our Christmas Appeal

Writing to us at Helen Arkell, Lillian’s mum said,

‘I just wanted to share my proud moment with you. Lillian’s diagnosis has brought her a great deal of comfort in why she struggles and has allowed her to identify areas that there are easy solutions too. She has embraced lots of coping mechanisms and is a much happier little girl – thank you.’

Read Lillian’s story here

Lilian holding a book about dyslexia

 

At Helen Arkell, our mission is to create a world where individuals with dyslexia can achieve their full potential. We offer tailored and expert support to remove any barriers to education, employment, and daily life.

This Christmas we are requesting donations to kindly help us continue giving the gift of learning. Your donation, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated.

Together, we can support more people.

Give the gift of learning

Thank you for your support.

Children colouring Christmas pictures
By |2024-04-24T09:30:17+01:00December 5th, 2023|Fundraising news, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Send a card this Christmas and help us out!

This Christmas you can do a good deed by sending Helen Arkell Christmas cards.

Our 5-pack of Christmas Tree cards have been designed by artist Sian van Driel who has kindly supported the charity since her family received help from us.

These cards are available on the website and in our shop at 24 West Street, Farnham. One hundred percent of the profits from these cards goes to help us support children and adults with dyslexia.

You can also send e-cards from DontSendMeACard.com and make a donation to us with the money you save on buying cards and on postage. Choose from Sian’s design and lots more.

However you choose to celebrate this Christmas, thank you for your ongoing support.

By |2024-04-24T09:30:20+01:00December 5th, 2023|Fundraising news, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

CEO blog Theo Paphitis, Buckingham Uni, Black Friday … and Teddy Edward is a very appealing bear

There’s lots to tell you this week, so I’ll do it in quick chunks:

  1. This week we were delighted to announce the launch of the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary in partnership with Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity, to provide funding for State School teachers and teaching assistants around the UK to receive free training from our expert team. It’s brilliant that someone like Theo is using his high profile to raise awareness (and funds) to benefit people with dyslexia. Thank you, Theo! We have started working with 50 State School teachers already.
  2. I was delighted to join up with the guys at Surrey Care Trust on Tuesday, together with our Tory, to speak with their team about all things dyslexia. They are doing great things, working with volunteers to equip vulnerable people with the skills and confidence they need to change their lives. Hopefully a bit more knowledge of dyslexia will be of help to them when supporting their people.
  3. On Thursday I had the pleasure of working with the team at the University of Buckingham, where they are already supporting their students brilliantly, and they want to particularly shine the spotlight on dyslexia. Sarah Myhill is the guiding light on this initiative, excellently supported by Roger Jefcoate, who is also a wonderful advocate of our charity.
  4. We haven’t done it before, but this year we’ve entered into the Black Friday spirit, by launching a pre-Christmas sale on online assessments for adults. Since the pandemic, there have been many changes in the dyslexia field, one of which has been to enable certain assessments to be undertaken online with the same validity as those conducted in-person. We have a brilliant team of online assessors, ready and waiting to help adults with dyslexia in this way (as well as students attending FE/University). Sometimes we assume in-person is always best in life, but in our experience these online assessments can be brilliant, provided the individual’s circumstances are conducive (and they have access to a device, and internet).
  5. This year we have provided support to more people with dyslexia than ever before, but there’s so much more we want to do, simply because we are inundated with requests for help. For that reason, we have launched our Christmas Appeal this week. Any contribution, large or small, would be greatly appreciated. You can donate here, if you’d like to be part of our drive to help more people. Thank you so much!
  6. Talking of appeals, we count ourselves as very lucky to have a very appealing little bear in our team. Teddy Edward particularly proved his worth this week, standing in for our Julie when she was under the weather on Wednesday. Profuse apologies if you got licked all over when you just came in to speak to us – rest assured he does that to everybody and it wasn’t just you. He manned the phones in his own way, but we can’t share photos as he was only wearing socks and a T-Shirt at the time (normal rules don’t apply to bears apparently).

Thank you for everything you do for this charity!

Andy

By |2024-04-24T09:30:22+01:00November 30th, 2023|CEO blog, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary – the power of working together

Theo Paphitis and the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity have this month, November 2023, launched the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary to provide funding for schools to offer free training to teachers and teaching assistants around the UK.

The response to the free training for primary and secondary state schools was incredible and all 50 spaces filled quickly.

Successful applicants are taking part in the charity’s 6-week online ‘Supporting Learners with Dyslexia’ course.

We are delighted that, thanks to Theo and his team, another 50 training spaces will be released in Spring 2024.

TV Dragon, retail entrepreneur and dyslexia champion, Theo Paphitis, commented: “Dyslexia has been a huge part of my life and shaped me into who I am, but school and coping with what I now understand to be undiagnosed dyslexia, was tough to deal with. To have had access to teachers and TAs who understood how to identify, and more importantly, how to help people like me deal positively with dyslexia would have been a game changer.

I hope that this Bursary will grow and grow and help many more with dyslexia in education, but also in the workplace going forward. That all the teacher spaces were snapped up within the hour shows the need for this bursary and support for those with dyslexia.”

The aim of the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary is to particularly support state schools where there are young people from low-income families, by giving them access to the expertise and guidance of Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity regarding the best ways to support young people with dyslexia.

Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity CEO, Andy Cook added: “Helen Arkell’s aim is to remove barriers to learning, employment and life for more and more people with dyslexia, regardless of ability to pay, and we are indebted to Theo Paphitis and Ryman for helping us to achieve this.  The demand has been high for the online places with a waiting list already in place for the spring training spaces, showing the power of what we can do when we work together and offer the right support in the right places.”

 

Theo Paphitis and Andy Cook

Theo Paphitis and Andy Cook

By |2024-04-24T09:30:23+01:00November 24th, 2023|Fundraising news, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Professional Tutoring Partnership Report

In the midst of the pandemic Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity joined forces with Real Training, the Dyslexia Guild, Patoss, Dyslexia Action and the British Dyslexia Association to help over 1,000 learners across the UK, who were in particular need of help and were falling behind. We called ourselves the Professional Tutoring Partnership for the purpose of this joint project.

During the project we collected ‘before and after’ data which has now been analysed and you can see it here: https://tutorpartnership.com/

Highlights are the fact that our specialist teachers succeeded in significantly enhancing the learners’ engagement with school, as well as improving their learning behaviours.

We are proud that Helen Arkell took part in this project at a time when the country was really struggling, and the effects upon disadvantaged children were particularly noticeable. We are also proud of how our respective organisations came together to work as one united team, at a time of crisis in the world at large.

By |2024-04-24T09:30:27+01:00November 15th, 2023|Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Launch of the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary

On behalf of all of us at Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity, I am absolutely thrilled to announce the launch of a new partnership with TV Dragon, Retail Entrepreneur and longstanding dyslexia champion Theo Paphitis and Ryman Retail Limited.

Together we will launch the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary, giving us the opportunity to offer free training to teachers and teaching assistants from state schools around the UK.

Starting with 50 free training spaces, the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary will enable the state school sector to take part in the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity’s six-week online Supporting Learners with Dyslexia course, free of charge for teachers or teaching assistants.

The aim of the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary is to particularly support state schools where there are young people from low-income families, by giving them access to the expertise and guidance of Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity regarding the best ways to support young people with dyslexia.

Theo Paphitis said: “I am delighted to create the Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary, supported by one of our key partners, the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity.  Many have a story with dyslexia, either through their own story or someone close to them, and through this Bursary and further work in the dyslexia area we want to make sure that as many stories as possible are positive ones.”

Helen Arkell’s aim is to remove barriers to learning, employment and life for more and more people with dyslexia, regardless of ability to pay, and we are indebted to Theo Paphitis and Ryman for helping us to achieve this.

Andy Cook

CEO

*Please note: all 50 Theo Paphitis Dyslexia Bursary places have now been awarded. 

Non bursary places are still available, but the normal fee will apply. Full details here.

Theo Paphitis and Andy Cook

Theo Paphitis and Andy Cook

By |2024-04-24T09:32:40+01:00October 17th, 2023|Fundraising news, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Dyslexia Awareness Week 2023 – Join in!

2 to 8 October 2023

We are now counting down to Dyslexia Awareness Week. This is the week in the year where we go even further to help people understand what dyslexia is, that there is effective support available and to explain the up- and down-sides of having dyslexia. If you can join us, we would love it!

The theme of this year’s Dyslexia Awareness Week is Uniquely You.

Look out for posts on our social media pages and for ways you can get involved.

 

Could you help spread the word about dyslexia?

Celebrate what makes people with dyslexia unique.

We would really love you to share your own unique dyslexia story in the form of a short video, lasting no longer than one minute. Look out for others’ films during the week on our social media channels.

You can use your mobile phone and let our community know what makes you you!

Please email your video to: events@helenarkell.org.uk

Share on social media using #DAW23 #Dyslexia #UniquelyYou #DyslexiaAwarenessWeek2023

A stand of cupcakes in red cases. One with pink icing, the other is chocolate with sprinkles

Could you fundraise during the week?

Could younger members of your family do a sponsored one-mile run, a board game marathon, or sell homemade cakes to neighbours?

Or how about gathering your friends for a quiz night?

If you’re feeling daring, we can help you plan ahead and organise a sponsored skydive or wing walk!

Your fundraising will help even more people with dyslexia make sense of their life.

We’re here to help so drop us a line on fundraising@helenarkell.org.uk

Royal Parks Half Marathon

Support our Royal Parks Half Marathon team

Our magnificent 7 Royal Parks Half Marathon runners are taking part in this race on Sunday 8 October.

Good luck to Ceri, Alice, Peter, James, Jackie, Gary and Daxa!

We’ll be there cheering you on!

Find out more about the team and support their incredible efforts here

Spotlight how to be a brilliant student

Join a Spotlight Talk

Join our Spotlight talk on Thursday 5 October on How to be a Brilliant Dyslexic Student with Sarah J Myhill.

 

If you have any questions, email the team on events@helenarkell.org.uk.

Thank you!

Watch this space for DAW updates or sign up for our e-newsletter.

By |2024-04-24T09:32:41+01:00September 27th, 2023|Fundraising news, Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

Join us at the Tes SEND Show 2023

Join us in October for the 2023 Tes SEND Show! Andy, Claire, Rachael and Katherine will be at Stand 83, amongst many SEND exhibitors.

There will be opportunities to take part in forums, workshops, CPD-certified seminars.

The exhibition is aimed at parents. carers and education professionals and entry is free (some seminars are chargeable).

Friday 13 October 2023: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Saturday 14 October 2023: 10:00am – 4:00pm

Venue and travel:

The Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, London, N1 0QH

The Business Design Centre is located in the heart of Islington with easy access to and from central London by public transport.

Register here.

By |2024-05-09T14:24:24+01:00September 20th, 2023|Homepage featured, Latest news|0 Comments

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