Hitchin’s Dyspraxia Foundation marking 30th anniversary with special appeal

Dyspraxia Foundation founders Stella White and Marilyn Owen meet South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck,

Dyspraxia Foundation founders Stella White and Marilyn Owen meet South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck, who lives with dyspraxia. Picture: Dyspraxia Foundation - Credit: Archant

The Dyspraxia Foundation, which is based in Hitchin, is set to celebrate its 30th anniversary next month.

Dyspraxia Foundation chairman Sophie Kayani and chief executive Eleanor Howes. Picture: Dyspraxia Fo

Dyspraxia Foundation chairman Sophie Kayani and chief executive Eleanor Howes. Picture: Dyspraxia Foundation - Credit: Archant

The charity is to mark the occasion with a special fundraiser at Hitchin Town Hall on Saturday, October 20, as part of its 30th anniversary appeal.

Charity chief executive Eleanor Howes said: “We are absolutely delighted to be able to host a very special event in our home town of Hitchin. We are a small team working hard, with the support of volunteers to ensure that all those affected by dyspraxia are able to reach their true potential in life.

“Thanks to the support of our generous sponsors, this event will make a real difference to raising awareness and funds.”

The foundation began in 1988 when two mums came together with a vision of a brighter and more understanding future for their sons.


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Stella White and Marilyn Owen met at a physiotherapy group for what were then known as ‘clumsy children’ – discovering they both had motor development difficulties, but without a clear reason or diagnosis.

After being told their children had dyspraxia, they were saddened find no facilities existed to help or inform parents about the condition.

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They set up the Dyspraxia Trust, as it was originally known, as took up offices in Hitchin as it was where Stella lived.

Thirty years on, the Dyspraxia Foundation remains the UK’s only registered charity dedicated to supporting people of all ages with dyspraxia. It is regularly consulted by education and health professionals, as well as employers.

Dyspraxia is a form of developmental co-ordination disorder that affects about six per cent of the population – two per cent severely. Males are three times more likely to be affected than females.

It also affects organisation, planning and time management, and can affect speech.

It is Dyspraxia Awareness Week from October 7 to 13 – with a particular focus this year on teenagers with dyspraxia, and the emotional support they need.

The fundraiser on October 20 will feature Swinging with the Rat Pack – with Stephen Triffitt as Frank Sinatra, Mark Adams as Dean Martin and George Daniel Long as Sammy Davis Jr.

Tickets cost £35, with all proceeds going to the appeal. See dyspraxiafoundation.org.uk.

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