Elizabeth collects MBE in Windsor ceremony
A dyslexia campaigner from Shropshire has enjoyed a right royal day out after officially being made an MBE by Princess Anne at a special investiture ceremony.
Elizabeth Wilkinson, who has worked tirelessly to promote the skills and successes of people with dyslexia, went to Windsor Castle today (Wednesday, March 8) to receive the honour awarded in the Queen’s Birthday Honours last year.
She went to the castle with her mum, Sue Taylor, dad, Michael Wilkinson, and dad’s partner, Christine Haslam, and said she had a brilliant day.
She said: “It was an honour to meet HRH The Princess Royal, and to be in a room filled with so many people who have done and are doing so much good. It was truly awe-inspiring to be in such amazing company, and to get to share the occasion with my family.
“The fact that I have been given such an honour for the work I do, is a real boost to my moral and has inspired me to continue doing what I do for as long and I can.
“The next big thing for me is the National Dyslexia Awards which recognise not just the skills and talents of dyslexics, but also those employers and educators who go above and beyond to support and encourage those with dyslexia because they recognise their potential.
“The judges and I are looking forward to reading all the amazing entries from around the UK.”
Elizabeth was diagnosed with dyslexia in her early 30s when she was researching ways to seek a diagnosis for her son and more general information about dyslexia.
Realising that an earlier diagnosis and more support for educators in school would have made a huge difference, Elizabeth set about doing what she could to improve the lives of other people with dyslexia.
She trained to become a specialist teacher and then in 2007 she set up her not-for-profit company The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant and has since trained thousands of business leaders and professionals on dyslexia in the workplace.
She also founded the Dyslexia Information Day – an annual event designed to help people access trustworthy, free advice about dyslexia and local services.
In 2015 she launched the first ever Dyslexia Awards for businesses and educators, in the Shropshire region only. The awards expanded to include the West Midlands region in 2020, before going national last year.
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty (SpLD) which usually manifests mainly as a difficulty with handling language, such as phonics, short term memory and automaticity. It is caused by a difference in how the brain processes information but is unrelated to intelligence or other skills.
Many dyslexic people are very high-achieving, especially in entrepreneurial and creative fields. Well-known high-profile dyslexics include Sir Richard Branson, EastEnders actress Kara Tointon, The Saturdays pop star and presenter Mollie King and Scottish rugby union international Kenny Logan.
However, the national Dyslexia Awards are about celebrating the achievements of everyday dyslexics who are doing amazing things in their local communities.
Nominations for the 2023 Dyslexia Awards will open in April.
For more information and to view this year’s award categories visit https://theddc.org.uk/dyslexiaawards/.