At this year’s Dyslexia awards more than 100 finalists, sponsors and guests gathered at the Enginuity venue in Coalbrookdale, Telford, where the winners of this year’s ‘Dyslexia Awards’ were announced.
The Awards featured nine categories, promoting the achievements of individuals with dyslexia, businesses that employ dyslexics and also the learning organisations and special needs co-ordinators that provide associated support.
The award for ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ was sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The category recognises that people with dyslexia are often extremely gifted in terms of identifying new products, services and ways to make them a commercial success.
This year’s winner was Natalie Pietrzyk, the managing director of Support Elite at Home Ltd. This is a family-run business that provides personalised support to both adults and children with a variety of needs. Judges decided that Natalie was clearly an entrepreneur, with a strong vision and determination to succeed. They also recognised her drive to make a real and positive difference in the world and her ability to identify and address a gap in the market.
The award was presented by FSB West Midlands Chair, Rich Bishop. Rich, who owns and manages a highly successful software, IT and web consultancy business and works with clients across the UK, is dyslexic himself and commented: "I know all too well that life with Dyslexia can be challenging at times. But, with the right help and workarounds, we can unlock a huge amount of talent that otherwise goes unutilised.
Rather than focusing on the negatives, it's more important to focus on the many things that those with Dyslexia can excel at once they are identified and supported. That’s why I was delighted to attend and present the Entrepreneur Award at this year’s event. It has once again helped to break stigmas and has shone a light on the tremendous strengths, attributes and skills on offer, in spite of Dyslexia”
The Dyslexia Awards were founded by FSB member Elizabeth Wilkinson in 2015. Elizabeth is dyslexic herself and has been working tirelessly since 2000, to promote and champion her fellow dyslexics.
She added: “I am determined to tackle the negative publicity that is often associated with dyslexia and to raise awareness of the strengths and skills that so many dyslexics bring to industry, commerce and in fact the world – we are creating wonderful local positive role models.
"I have always wanted the Dyslexia Awards to be a positive platform and a really fun and enjoyable way to effect change. This fourth annual event has proven to be exactly that, thanks to all our supporters, sponsors, I am I delighted with the feedback we have received over the last four years and look forward to the 2020 awards extending to nominations from both Shropshire and the West Midlands region!”