AGM Chair and Helpline Report 2018

MDDA Chair of Committee Report 2017/18

The Association has had an incredibly busy year thanks to the hard work of the committee, members and friends.

The AGM last year was held in Marlborough Library and was an opportunity to explore the wealth of resources available. This was received very favourably and is something we plan to do gain, possibly in the coming year.

Our theme this year had been ‘The Year of the Writer’ and we have had a series of sole and joint events over the course of the year.

In March we collaborated with Wilts Council to run a course for teachers on Supporting Dyslexia and Literacy Difficulties. Thanks to a generous donation from the Local Freemasons we were able to fund this training and therefore keep the costs to schools at a minimum, thereby allowing more staff to be trained. It was a first class event and all who came were very impressed.  More of these collaborations are planned for the future as county budgets are squeezed and we need to find alternative ways to support staff and therefore pupils in our schools.

In May had an excellent talk from Jenny Viollette entitled ‘A Writer’s Toolkit’ which was full of practical tips to support the teaching of writing in schools.

This meeting was preceded by a short general meeting in which there was a formal adoption of an amended constitution which brought us in line with new Charity commission rules and the banking requirements.

Our planned collaboration with Marlborough Literary festival took its first steps and the Cartooning workshop held in Marlborough Library was enjoyed by all and gave children another way to express ideas and emotions other than direct writing.

Our final event this in this year’s calendar has been this afternoon’s talk on What to do about Writing giving us the latest research findings on how Children develop writing skills and how we can develop these skills.

We have continued to meet with a group of County and voluntary groups from across the county to support our work with dyslexics. We had a stand at the Swindon conference and was on the theme ‘Self-esteem, Motivation and Success’ as well as a Stand at the Wiltshire Dyslexia event in Trowbridge at the beginning of Dyslexia awareness week. Both of these events were well attended and gave us an opportunity to publicise our existence and network with colleagues.

Our thanks also go to Marlborough Town Council who gave us a grant to have  book marks printed-we have pots of these to take to your schools and also have them in local libraries, surgeries etc. Once again it’s an opportunity to publicise ourselves.

We wish to thank St John’s School, Marlborough library and Burbage School in allowing us to use their venues. Heartfelt thanks to Susanne Harris who probably has the hardest job of all on the helpline, which requires great tact, empathy and the knowledge of local services in order to support the families who call.

To Gill Wallis for running our resources library and monthly drop-in at Marlborough library and also to the committee who all contribute their time and skills.

We really do need a few more people to help. Even if you don’t want to attend meetings we desperately need help with newsletters and publicity. Katie does a great job on social media but we need more help

If you can offer a few hours a year we would welcome you with open arms!

Plans for the future:

The MDDA will continue to offer a Helpline and Library drop in sessions in the coming year.

The MDDA plans to work and support financially, along with the Wilts BDA,  Wilts SENSS in delivering  whole day training for  dyslexia/Spld awareness events in the coming year.

The Association plans to continue to work with the Wiltshire Groups to support any events in the County.

The Association plans to continue to support local primary schools in raising awareness of dyslexia and advising on how to support learners in school and at home.