At the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity we change the lives of people with dyslexia, giving them the tools they need to believe in themselves, achieve their goals and succeed on their own terms.
The trouble is, by the time people come to us, they have often become demoralised about their abilities and show low self-esteem due to lack of achievement at school or work because of their unrecognised dyslexia.
Over a thousand people come through our doors seeking help every year. By the time they leave us, they will have experienced a key moment in their life, having an understanding that dyslexia is affecting them and a realisation that there is much that can be done to go forward in life with a brand new approach.
We need your help to make sure we can help more children and adults. By joining the growing number of Friends of Helen Arkell, you help people like Freddie, whose mum wrote this:
After the death of my husband my son Freddie really struggled with the pressure of exams, he was keeping up with day to day school work but exams made him really anxious and the results did not reflect his ability. I was at a loss of what to do and his confidence was plummeting rapidly, I was desperate to help build Freddie's confidence and reduce his anxiety.
I emailed the Helen Arkell charity explaining our situation and that I didn’t really think Freddie fitted a stereotypical dyslexic. They couldn’t have been more helpful from the outset, especially the initial phone call with the receptionist, who showed the empathy I really needed after lots of battles alone.
I met for an initial consultation - they felt Freddie would benefit from seeing an educational psychologist and recommended a specific one, experienced with bereaved children.
They also suggested I applied for a means-tested bursary. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to have received this help, just the meeting, alongside some very optimistic results, helped boost Freddie’s confidence and the extra time allocated for exams took the pressure off and reduced his anxiety hugely.
Everyone learns in different ways and just because you don’t conform to a regimented way, it shouldn’t hold you back.
The Helen Arkell Centre helps children believe in themselves and reach their true potential. Thank you to everyone at the charity.
Jo approached us at 47 after her youngest son was diagnosed with dyslexia. Her message is that ‘it’s never too late’:
My school years were a great struggle, ‘she must try harder’; if she spent less time looking out the window, she might learn something’. We all just accepted that I didn’t have what it takes and we can’t all be good at everything! I left school at 15 with a few CSE qualifications, but have absolutely no regrets where my life has taken me.
When my youngest son started showing difficulties with learning at a young age, I pushed for an assessment through the school and he was diagnosed dyslexic. I knew he was, I had this ‘gut feeling’. Seeing his struggles, lack of confidence and belief in himself was a mirror image of myself, and that made me start to question: am I dyslexic rather than just not very clever?!
I had attended a course for parents with dyslexic children through the Helen Arkell charity and knew they were the people for me. I work, but as a single parent, my incomings are low and my outgoings are high. Thankfully the benefits I receive help keep our heads above water. When I contacted the charity and explained my desire to answer my own questions of ability, they were supportive and discussed the bursary option. I wasn’t made to feel embarrassed by this and was able to pay the suggested amount we discussed.
Following on from my assessment I was told I had dyslexia, I cried, tears of relief I think. On my report, the Helen Arkell assessor concluded that I do have potential to succeed in my chosen academic pursuits. This has been a huge turning point now in my life. I have started a health foundation degree and I’m soon sitting my English and Maths functional skills. This will give me the required entry skills to start my Physiotherapy degree at university! I’m 47 and it’s never too late! I will have the extra support I need through this study time.
I do struggle with quite often the simplest of tasks, but now I understand why and no longer criticise myself and my abilities.
My diagnosis has given me the confidence and belief in myself that I have lacked for many years. Without the Helen Arkell charity and the bursary I wouldn’t be making these changes.
Please help us support more children, young people and adults by becoming a Friend of Helen Arkell with a monthly donation here
Alternatively, a single gift would be very welcome here
Your donation will help people like Jo and Freddie achieve their goals!
If you would like to find out more please do contact us on 01252 792400 or email [email protected]