As children return to school most organised parents have their to-do list. Generally this includes such things as school uniform, new shoes, book bag, pencil case, lunch box, books, etc.

There are however a number of other items which could prove invaluable which should be placed on this list. In the case of children diagnosed with dyslexia these items are essential. For more information read this article

One of our members was recently invited to join the Green Army at the Fleadh Ceoil n Eireann last Sunday. As Austen had done us a great favour the previous week our member felt somewhat obliged to accept his invitation.

Wearing a Green Army Vest they set off into the crowds brandishing a pick-up stick, gloves and a black rubbish bag…

To cut a long story short, our good friend was the person with permission to use the centre that Saturday. Austen was holding a recruitment day for Scouting Ireland and we are pleased to say that he was only too delighted to help us out and share the stand.

As the previous post implies, the Offaly Dyslexia Group had a great day out and so did Scouting Ireland. Both received a ton of enquiries from interested parties.

A number of our members are scouts or scouters (adult scouts). With the permission of the group leader we added to the scout presence (in uniform) while working for our own very worthy cause. Things worked out very well indeed. Collages were provided of scouting activities involving the 1st Offaly Scouts and Austen provided the rest…

(returning to Sunday) …determined to get our group noticed our enthusiastic member donned the fluorescent vest and volunteered their services with gusto. A group of maybe twenty volunteers set forth along the streets of Tullamore intent on cleaning things up so that revellers could enjoy themselves safely.

Sadly, they were unable to flash the Offaly Dyslexia Group vest at the crowd, as an official green version was required. Apparently this turned out to be an advantage when the hot late summer’s day suddenly became wet, windy and dark!

While it was intense; the rain was warm. Dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, the double layer of protective clothing  sheltered our intrepid member from the pounding rain leaving only a couple of damp spots that could be hidden under our very own Offaly Dyslexia Group vest!

So, we got to advertise for the Offaly Dyslexia Group after all…

Yesterday a small army of thirty volunteers made their presence well and truly felt on the streets of Tullamore. Comprised of members, family and friends the first flag day/street collection in aid of the Offaly Dyslexia Group was a huge success.

The numbers of pedestrian traffic were certainly lower than expected but the generosity of the good folk in Tullamore is greatly appreciated. With their help our message will be carried across the Midlands area and further afield. In addition to the obligatory lapel sticker details of our website and advice line were given, to be passed on.

In the Bridge Centre we were fortunate enough to be allowed to erect an information stand. As yesterdays prime objective was to raise the public profile of the Offaly Dyslexia Group this was vital to the success of the day.

Earlier this week Midlands 103 interviewed Frances Walsh, Administrator of the group. People generally have a greater awareness of dyslexia and many of yesterdays contributors remarked that they had listened to the interview.

Yesterday’s battle cry was:


“…if you hear of just one child that we can help, please give them our number!”

A friend of ours announced with glee that a certain young royal has dyslexia! Somewhat taken aback, we had to think about what had been announced before we could begin to understand the ramifications…

It appears that Hello Magazine has published a nice article on Princess Beatrice; the fifth in line for succession to the throne of England. The article was in celebration of the lasses 21st birthday and went on to mention how Lady York had conquered learning difficulties from a young age.

Despite, or perhaps as a direct result of her diagnosis she has gone on to attain good exam results and is currently reading history at Goldsmith’s University. An earlier article published on English Monarchs had this to say..

The House of Windsor Coat of Arms

The House of Windsor Coat of Arms

Princess Beatrice suffers from mild dyslexia, as her mother, the Duchess of York, also did. She required special help with reading and writing at the Arkell Dyslexia Centre prior to taking her GCSE’s. Nevertheless, she passed eight.

She wanted the fact that she suffers from dyslexia to be made public knowledge to help others with the condition. She was reported to have said ” I have been given circumstances that anyone would wish for and I do believe that I must do something good with it. That was one of the reasons why I came out publicly to let people know I am dyslexic. It was my decision to do that as it is a problem helped by more people knowing about it.”

Princess Bea & mother Sarah Ferguson

Princess Bea & mother Sarah Ferguson

Let’s face it guy’s, all little girls entertain dreams of growing up to be a princess, and/or being rescued by a handsome prince! In this instance the beautiful young princess rescues kids with Dyslexia.

Princess Bea makes a wonderful spokesperson for the cause of Dyslexia. Her attitude is refreshing and will do much to bring the condition to the attention of people everywhere.

All children need a role model to admire and took to for inspiration and it seems that she’s just hit the jackpot! Obviously very aware of her societal position and the privileges available to her;  she is undaunted and willing to expose her own strengths and weaknesses for the betterment of others.

With young and trendy icons like Princess Bea to lead the way, the future is certainly looking brighter for children and adults with dyslexia.

Yesterday morning the Offaly Dyslexia Group received a mystery packet in the post. With its brown paper packaging and hand-written address, plus a real stamp you might imagine that we were intrigued as to its contents.

With some excitement our secretary gingerly ripped the envelope asunder only to reveal a compliments slip with a hand written note and several hundred self adhesive sticky labels bearing the logo of the Dyslexia Association of Ireland!

Joy of joys! After all our efforts to get our fund raising off the ground; this was the final proof that things are moving in the right direction. Now fair enough; uptake for collecting slots has been a bit slow, but heck people are on holliers right now.

Never the less, through the constant efforts of the Offaly Dyslexia Group we hope to present a good front on Saturday 15th August. Armed with our sealed buckets, permits, bright yellow fluorescent safety vests and our DAI stickers we should be reasonably visible in and around the environs of Tullamore.

In the meantime, if you are in the area and find yourself in a position to help us with our flag day do please contact us and we’ll be sure to slot you in. Remember, any funds raised by us will be used to fund the further  progress of workshop attendees, ie children with dyslexia.

Alternately, if you are the shy and retiring type maybe you could just slip us a donation as you pass quietly by; either way The Offaly Dyslexia Group welcomes your help…

Whoever would have thought that a simple thing like raising funds for charity could be so complicated? Probably the easiest thing about it to date was actually submitting the application form to the local Garda (police) barracks…

The Offaly Dyslexia Group have contacted virtually every person, man, woman or child who has ever contacted them regarding the condition Dyslexia. We have canvassed our friends, neighbours and acquaintances both in the workplace and socially. While the numbers are swelling, gathering volunteers is a slow process largely due to the time of year.

Saturday 15th August will be a great day to collect funds for the Offaly Dyslexia Group. It’s the day before Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann which runs from Sunday 16th August through to Sunday 23rd August.

Unfortunately our good fortune  is complicated somewhat by the fact that almost as many people are heading off on their holidays as are descending upon Tullamore for theirs! The result is that our numbers are potentially diminished, but we have a cunning plan which may just save the day…

Should any of our loyal readers out there fancy a trip to the most prestigious celebration of Irish Culture, why not give us a call or leave a comment and maybe we can do something to accommodate you. The only proviso will be that you offer us at least two hours of your time on 15th August 2009!

*This post was edited on Thursday 6th August by Admin. Any offers of accomodation previously offered for the Fleadh Cheoil nEireann are now withdrawn due to poor uptake.*

Since the end of term back in July, The Offaly Dyslexia Group have been beavering away behind the scenes in readiment for next years school term. Admittedly this is over two months away, but these things do not organise themselves!

Sadly our much loved programme coordinator (PC) Ms Susan McGann is leaving us. This is for personal reasons and we all hope that Susan will be able to rejoin our group at some future date.

Meanwhile, this leaves us with something of a predicament – we have to replace her with somebody who is both able and willing! Therefore, we the Offaly Dyslexia Group are inviting suitably qualified teachers  to apply for the post of Programme Coordinator.

Most importantly the successful applicant will hold an interest in helping  dyslexia children learn literacy skills. If YOU are that person please contact us using our advice line and we will send you out a copy of the job description.

Curriculum Vitae may be submitted by post.

The Offaly Dyslexia Group have been given permission to hold a flag day (or street collection) on August 15th in order to raise essential funding which will allow us to continue with the purchasing of equipment/resources needed. This will take place between the hours of 9am – 6pm in and around the town of Tullamore.

Already we have successfully canvassed both the Tullamore Credit Union which is a popular site for street collectors and the AIB Bank. Although the collection is to take place on a Saturday, the Credit Union trades as usual and the AIB has an ATM facility in its foyer. Both sites are likely to be busy.

It is intended that we, the Offaly Dyslexia Group obtain further permissions required to allow us to collect at several prominent sites around the town. According to the terms of the permit we must have no more than 15 persons actively collecting for us at any given time.

Presently we have eleven children enrolled for our forthcoming September workshops. In an ideal world this allows us a potential 22 collectors to cover the days collections, however, as we all know it is not an ideal world and even with the full complement of parents we need the assistance of many more people.

Collectors must be known to the permit holder and must be aged fourteen or over. We are presently organising distinctive hi-vis vests printed with Offaly Dyslexia Group and our phone number  and authorisation cards for collectors.

It is also intended to obtain sealable containers for use as collection buckets, as per the permit granted. These will also be printed up in the appropriate manner, hopefully for use on many more occasions.

All of the above is important, in fact it is vitally important. However, if we don’t obtain the help that we need to make this happen, one has to ask themselves what difference this will all make? The last thing anyone wants to see on a Saturday afternoon is a grumpy and tired street collector who’s been standing there all day!

Currently, we are in the process of contacting our members via text message to advise them of our good fortune and to ask for their help. Next week we intend to ring each of the children’s parents personally to ask for their support personally and then to follow this up with a further text closer to the date.

Also it is intended that we send out a press release to local media in the hopes of getting some free publicity and perhaps more support for our cause. This is especially important considering that we are right in the middle of the holiday season, which potentially could reduce our numbers dramatically.

Donations of appropriate books, software programmes, equipment, time or just common sense and the ability to help us further our fund raising efforts will always be welcome. However, just at the moment we urgently need volunteers to help us out on Saturday August 15th this year…

Should you have an interest in helping us out, either by way of donation of time or funding do please contact us.

Just a quickie to let you know that the Offaly Dyslexia Group is now on

In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them, eg Offaly Dyslexia Group and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking world news to updates from friends.

In the right hand sidebar you will find a summary of all that is going on in Twitter, including some interesting links. If you are already signed up for a Twitter account we can be found under the user name of DyslexiaOffaly and you can follow us by pressing the follow button on the bottom of the tweet bar.

While we must remark on the wealth of information available on Twitter, it is overwhelming, it is important to mention that this is information and access to resources. This does not mean that the Offaly Dyslexia Group endorses these sources, just that it may be of interest…

Here at the Offaly Dyslexia Group, we welcome constructive criticism and look forward to receiving feedback. Twitter is the ideal platform for this or you may do so by leaving a comment…