On a sunny July afternoon at the Cavalry & Guards Club, the Feltmakers’ Charity Committee unveiled the Livery’s latest beneficiary, the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity. Helen Arkell is one of the leading lights in dyslexia expertise, providing learning and skills support for all ages, as well as professional training for educators. Those with dyslexia see words upside down or back to front, or perhaps swimming before their eyes. There are many other symptoms and it is hereditary, affecting 1 in 10 people in the UK.
PM, Jeremy Brassington, who chairs the Charity Committee, reminded us of our duty to offer more than simply financial help to the charities the Livery supports. The goal with Helen Arkell is for it to become an integral part of the Livery as we actively participate in its endeavours.
Andy Cooke, the Charity’s CEO, explained how the organisation helps those affected by dyslexia to find coping strategies and offers personal, one to one consultation, mentoring and coaching. All these services are offered free of charge to those from lower income backgrounds.
This was followed by an impassioned talk by liveryman, Sam Gordon, who is dyslexic herself. Her trials at school, as a result of her dyslexia, only served to make her more determined to succeed (she is now a lawyer). Offering an insight into her personal battles, Sam praised the work of Helen Arkell and how it acts as a bridge, providing support to dyslexic individuals and their families. She said that if dyslexia isn’t recognised and handled properly, it remains a disadvantage as people are misunderstood and accused of being lazy or unintelligent when the opposite is true. Among the more well-known individuals with dyslexia are Albert Einstein, Richard Branson and Princess Beatrice.
On 1 October, the Charity Committee is to host a dinner at the Cavalry & Guards Club in support of the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity.