Sam Smith

I may have Dyslexia, but Dyslexia does not define me

Fundraising for Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity
raised of £1,800 target
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Event: London Marathon 2023, on 23 April 2023
We support people with dyslexia to succeed on their own terms.


Hello everyone, my name is Sam Smith and I have Dyslexia. I say this proudly with my head held high as I have had to accept this from a young age. Along the way I have had to learn how to deal with this and have been battling it ever since.

Dyslexia is a learning is difference that affects reading, writing and spelling and it affects people from all walks of life. Its estimated that at least 1 in 10 people in the UK have dyslexia but it is still often misunderstood. No two people with dyslexia are the same, so it often goes undiagnosed.

I am extremely passionate about Dyslexia as I can relate to the hurdles it puts Infront of people. I understand what it feels like having to cope with this, having lived with it throughout school, university and in my career I still have to deal with it

School is a particularly difficult time for people with dyslexia. Below are just a few of the things I had to deal with and try and overcome in school:

  • I struggled with reading and writing
  • People used to make fun of me
  • I was allocated into the lower sets for every class/subject
  • Teachers used to ask me to write on the board whilst at the same time making disparaging comments about my spelling and writing
  • I was labelled as lazy
  • Teachers used to remove me from class as they thought I was being difficult

All of these things had a major effect on me as I moved forward in life:

  • I lacked confidence in everything I did in school
  • When reading I used to get stressed and anxious and disliked it with a passion
  • I become quieter and more withdrawn as a person as I didn’t want anyone to ask me any questions
  • I started to rebel in class as the classes they put me in the other kids weren’t interested in learning, so I copied other bad behaviors
  • Even now in my career I still have to fight imposter syndrome

Due to the fact I was made aware of my Dyslexia at a young age, through being tested, and then living with it for so long, I have learnt to cope and adapt, and along the way have grown in strength and my ability to handle difficult situations. Although it still affects me now in some shape or form, I have been very lucky to have been given help and support along the way and this has made a huge difference in the outcome of where I am in life today. Sometimes I think to myself, I cant quite believe what I have achieved and whilst some of this is down to a lot of hard work and determination,  a big part is also the help and support I have received along the way.

I want to be able to make a difference to other peoples lives, so they get the help and support they need. This is why I am very excited to be challenging myself by running a half marathon, a full marathon and sky diving from 14,000 feet so I can raise at least £1800 for the Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity.

The reason for donating and what the funds will they be used for?

  • The funds will be used to support the work of Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity.
  • The Charity removes barriers to learning and life for children, young people and adults with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties by providing personalised, life-changing support to over 1,000 people a year.
  • They also support parents of dyslexic children, teachers, and employers of dyslexic staff.
  • Where possible the charity delivers services free to disadvantaged people with dyslexia from low-income backgrounds. No statutory funding is available.
  • Together we inspire people to believe in themselves, achieve their goals and succeed on their own terms.

How will the donations help you or others?

  • The charity provides support through consultations, specialist
    assessments, 1:1 tuition or skills development, workshops and courses, building confidence and raising aspirations

Why is it important to try and make a difference by donating?

  • Left undiagnosed and unsupported, dyslexia can reduce the ability to learn, self-esteem and overall life chances.
  • Dyslexia affects people regardless of intellectual ability and is
    the most common learning difficulty, primarily affecting the skills needed for accurate and fluent reading, writing and spelling including memory and processing speed.  There are many other
    symptoms, and no two people with dyslexia are the same.  It is highly hereditary, affecting 1 in 10 people in the UK.
  • With your support, Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity helps people with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties (SpLDs), from all backgrounds, to believe, achieve and succeed.

Things Ill be doing:

  • I’ll be Running the Leicestershire Half Marathon on the 26th February 2023
  • I will be Running the London Marathon on the 23rd April 2023
  • Lastly, I will be doing a Sky Dive, falling from 14,000 feet on the 20th May 2023

Thank you for taking the time to read through my JustGiving page and any donations big or small will be very much appreciated!

About the charity

Left undiagnosed and unsupported, dyslexia negatively impacts children and young people. It affects their self-esteem. Their ability to learn. Their life chances. With your support, Helen Arkell Dyslexia Charity can help people with dyslexia from all backgrounds to believe, achieve and succeed.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £407.21 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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