There was much excitement at The Helen Arkell Dyslexia Centre in Farnham on Friday 13th when Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey and Minister of Health, visited the Centre to meet some of its many supporters and staff and unveil the new website that will be launched imminently.
A long standing supporter of the work of Helen Arkell, Mr Hunt spoke about his own familial experience of dyslexia and the excellence of the work of the Centre. Addressing the assembled audience, Mr Hunt highlighted some of the exciting new initiatives the Centre is making including a programme, starting in January 2016, to support more individuals - both under 16 as well as students and adults in the workplace.
In addition, the MP spoke of the plan to support more dyslexic people who are less able to pay through the development of a bursary fund.
Helen Arkell herself presented Mr Hunt with a copy of “Spellbinder” the story of her work in supporting people who are dyslexic.
Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, commented: “ It gives me enormous pleasure to meet so many of you today and learn first-hand more about the exciting plans you have for the Centre’s future. The new website looks excellent and will greatly enhance the capabilities you are able to offer as well as your ability to reach more people and families affected by dyslexia.”
Jilly Steventon, Chair of Trustees for the Centre said: “In the short time I have been with Helen Arkell, I have been impressed by the quality of the work we do and by the dedication of all the staff to deliver a compassionate and friendly service to everyone. My fellow trustees and I want to make this available to a wider audience and we are delighted to have the support of our MP and all our guests today as we take this agenda forward.”
The Centre was founded by Helen Arkell, Joy Pollock and Elisabeth Waller and first opened its doors in London on 26 April 1971. It has been based at its current location in Frensham, Surrey, since 1987. Helen Arkell received an MBE in 1999 for her work in dyslexia and further royal recognition followed in 2003 when she was honoured as a Pioneer to the Life of the Nation at a Buckingham Palace reception.
We have so many exciting plans......hopefully you'll be with us on our adventure!
Here are some photos of the celebration......