CEO blog – A plea from me

Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity CEO Andy Cook

When I look back over recent years at Helen Arkell, I can see lots of areas where we’ve made progress. We’re helping many more people with dyslexia than we used to. We’re reaching people from a much wider geographical area. We’re helping lots more people from lower-income backgrounds with bursary-funded support. We’re training more teachers in how to support children with dyslexia in the classroom, and workplaces in how to support their dyslexic employees.

But there’s still something that we continue to be pretty rubbish at. And this is a plea from me, to do something about it, between us as a team. Because if we make progress in this area, we will really make a step-change regarding the numbers of people with dyslexia we can help with every year that goes by, long into the future.

So, let’s talk about gifts in Wills.

Other charities attract many generous benefactors who leave gifts in their Wills to ensure charitable activity can continue long after they’re gone, leaving a lasting legacy. For many charities this enables them to double the number of people they can help. But for us, this remains an area of relative weakness.

Don’t get me wrong, we are starting to see growing numbers of the Helen Arkell community start to write the Charity into their Wills in some way, shape or form, large or small. (Only last month, another person informed me that they had done so, which is what prompted me to write this). While that is absolutely brilliant (and these people are heroes, who will ensure that future generations continue to be helped by this charity) I would dearly love to persuade each and every person in the Helen Arkell community to at least consider updating their Will, and to consider making a gift to this charity, however small.

It doesn’t matter whether you have personal experience of dyslexia or not, or if you’ve been a teacher and want to give back to the dyslexic community, or indeed if you just happen to know someone whose life has been touched by this charity – any contribution would make a huge difference.

I would be immensely grateful if you would read the attached, and take action if you feel moved to do so. I have already written the charity into my Will. Mrs F from Northumberland wrote the charity into her Will too, and we received a gift of £5,000 to help us fulfil our mission.

As you will see from the attached information, it’s not a question of choosing between family and charity – it’s just seeing if you could spare a little gift after you’ve made provision for your nearest and dearest.

And leaving gifts to charities in Wills can bring tax benefits too.

Thank you for listening, and thank you for anything you can do to help!


Andy Cook
Chief Executive

PS  As someone who makes a pledge to Helen Arkell in your Will, you will be invited to our events, so you feel in touch with our innermost plans and activities. Please do let us know if you decide to act on the attached information, so we can be sure to include you. If you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s fine too.