Dyslexic FSB member made MBE launches national award scheme

Local News 4 Jul 2022

A dyslexic FSB member made MBE has taken her annual award scheme national to shine a light on dyslexic individuals, educators and employers UK-wide who consistently inspire and empower people with dyslexia to reach their full potential.

FSB Member Eli Wilkinson

Elizabeth Wilkinson, who is a member of the Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire network of the Federation of Small Businesses and is an active participant in the FSB’s #BusinessWithoutBarriers campaign, has successfully run The Dyslexia Awards in her home-county of Shropshire since 2015.

Now though, she says it is time to showcase the diverse skills and strengths of dyslexic people from all corners of the UK and businesses, education settings and individuals associated with FSB networks across the nation are invited to get their nominations in before the closing date on July 14.

The awards will showcase the diverse skills and strengths of dyslexic people and those supporting dyslexics and there are a total of nine awards for adults and young people and the categories include:

  • Entrepreneur Award, which is sponsored by the FSB
  • Amazing Artist Award
  • Learning Support Award
  • Community Shining Star Award (aged 20 plus)
  • Exceptional Educator Award
  • Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) Award
  • Community Shining Star Award (aged 13 to 19)
  • Innovation Award
  • Supportive Employer Awards

Elizabeth, who was made an MBE in the Queen’s recent Jubilee Birthday Honours List for her services to dyslexia, said the awards were about celebrating diversity in the workplace, showcasing the commitment of educators and marking the achievements of those who are dyslexic to bring about positive changes in society.

“These awards are about celebrating the amazing talents, skills and achievements of everyday dyslexics, as well as shining a light on supportive employers and excellent educators across the nation.

“There are so many terrific employers and educators who ‘get’ that dyslexics offer a vast array of skills, talents and solutions and are working tirelessly to encourage, inspire and empower their dyslexic students and employees to achieve their full potential and it is this work which the awards will recognise.”

Research suggests that one in ten people in the UK are dyslexic, however it is not usually identified in childhood and around 75 per cent of diagnoses happen in adulthood, either in the workplace or university.

Elizabeth was 33 when she received her dyslexia diagnosis and 39 when she discovered she was also autistic.

She launched the first ever Dyslexia Awards for businesses and educators in 2015, in the Shropshire region only. In 2020, the awards were open to nominations from across the West Midlands and this year, the scheme will go national culminating in an award celebration at Enginuity – an interactive engineering and design museum located in the heart of Ironbridge, the birthplace of the industrial revolution.

To see the full list of awards, information on how to enter and a timeline of key dates you can view the Dyslexia Awards website here.

You can also view Elizabeth’s #BusinessWithoutBarriers story on the FSB website here

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