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

Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity CEO Andy Cook

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!