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My Fundraising Challenge - John Baldock

Thursday 9 November 2023

When I went to school during the early 90’s and finished in the early 2000 during this period at school I didn’t have any support for my dyslexia. I had a teacher in year 3 that understood me and allowed me to work and learn the way I felt comfortable and during my primary school years my mum helped help me with ways to understand words also how to spell words with letters missing by how a word would hide a letter from two words to make one like police and being broken down to pole and ice and the ‘e’ being hidden by the pole that is in the ice. The other way was to break words down and make multiple other words like because becomes Big Elephants Can Always Upset Small Elephants.

When I went to secondary school I didn't take help from mum or get any help from school, but when I was in Year 10 and 11 I was taken out of French lessons and put into Key Skills lessons.

After I left school, I didn’t do much to help myself until I was about 20 and I wanted to start reading. I first started by reading teen fiction books, short stories comics or just browsing newspapers. I can't remember how many books it took me before I found that I enjoy reading and last year I read 100 books.

In 2008 I went to college, I didn’t have the confidence to tell people that I have dyslexia so I sat middle or front of the class, but during practical classes I found that I excelled and I didn’t realise until later that I could do stuff for the first time without it being explained because my brain could break stuff down and then tells me what to do.

An example of this is at my work, we have a paper machine and I never saw anyone change it but I could do it without someone explaining. When I was in theory class I always tried to take notes from the blackboard or slides I just couldn't get it all down, so I ended up spending time in front of a computer or looking at books to find the information required for my assessments. At the end of college I left with a Distinction Star, First Diploma in Agriculture.

It took me until 2021 to be able to talk to people about my dyslexia, but now I am proud to have it and what I have achieved because of it. Even now when I have learnt a lot about how to handle my dyslexia to either hide it or make it easier on myself I still struggle with it before and sometimes after I have learnt new ways to work.

Want to take part?

If you would like to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival, with different distances to chose from, you can set the challenge that's right for you! Entries are now open for the 5km, 10km, half or full marathon.

We have charity places in the following events and it's free to register:
Full Marathon Sun 26th May - £500 sponsorship pledge
Half Marathon Sun 26th May - £250 sponsorship pledge
10k Sat 25th May - £150 sponsorship pledge
5k Sat 25th May - £80 sponsorship pledge

Find out more and Register here