Working with people who learn differently is far from run of the mill. It’s a challenging and rewarding world where we meet new hurdles, every day.
Luckily, we’re expert hurdlers. And educationalists. And fundraisers. And politicians. In short, our close-knit team is made of champions – all dedicated to changing the game when it comes to learning.
Together we’re keeping Helen Arkell at the leading edge of education innovation, building a reputation as the very best.
Our team comprises our CEO, senior education staff, admin team, specialist teachers, tutors, assessors and ambassadors. We are governed by a dedicated team of trustees.
The current Helen Arkell you’ll find today was originally set up in what used to be a stable block in the garden of a house that belonged to Helen Arkell’s family. Visit today, join us in our main lecture hall, and you can see in the wall where we’ve preserved the old metal rings they used to tie the horses to. You’ll also see (and perhaps hear!) the old school hand bell that still gets used on occasions to demand student attention.
However the story of Helen Arkell, and indeed the story of dyslexia support and provision in the UK, is one of a fascinating struggle against prejudice and ignorance that changed the perception of educationalists, the medical profession, and administrators alike. Today Helen Arkell is one of the leading specialist centres in the UK, not only directly supporting dyslexics, but training the dyslexia specialists and teachers of tomorrow. Our expertise does not stop in the UK - we visit, support and educate across the nations!
However despite our achievements and pre-eminent position in education the fact we are still dependent on charitable donations rather than public funding still suggests dyslexia (and the value dyslexics bring to society and economy alike) has some way to go to become ‘mainstream’ and accepted.
Our current site in Arkell Lane, Frensham, grew organically throughout the 1970’s as a secondary site to the very first centre opened by Helen on 26th April 1971 in Crondace Road, London SW. In fact Helen’s personal journey with dyslexia had started just after the Second World War when she visited her sister in Denmark. Helen’s nephew in Copenhagen had been diagnosed with ‘word-blindness’ and, following a visit to the expert who had made the diagnosis, Helen discovered that she too had the same problems.
If you have time to read Helen’s personal journey, which you will find a link to on this page, you will enjoy a fascinating and captivating insight into the history of the discovery of dyslexia and the parts Helen and her centre have played.
Helen still regularly lends her wisdom and guidance to Helen Arkell although she has now passed the day-to-day running of the Centre to a team of trustees and trusted professionals. That team plays its part as the new stewards of dyslexia, still campaigning for greater recognition of the dyslexic cause, and continuing to innovate and move knowledge forward.
At the same time it has accepted the baton of supporting individual dyslexics and training and mentoring those who will, in turn, keep on championing long into the future. The testimonials you will find in this section of the site bear witness to the fine efforts of the staff whose profiles also appear on these pages.