Marlborough and District Dyslexia Association celebrate 32 years

Written by Sue Round on .

Janet Louth and Gill Wallis with the White Willow and Marlborough Town Council Head Groundsman Nigel Weathery.Janet Louth and Gill Wallis with the White Willow and Marlborough Town Council Head Groundsman Nigel Weathery.Last week Marlborough and District Dyslexia Association marked 32 years of work in the town and the retirement of their long time President and Resource manager, Gill Wallis, by planting a tree in Stonebridge Wild River Reserve.

The site is particularly apt as Janet Louth, the founder of the Association, is the mother of Anna Forbes, the Project Officer & Volunteer Co-ordinator for Action for the River Kennet (ARK), who jointly own and manage the water meadow with Marlborough Town Council.

Anna commented, “ARK is extremely pleased to have this new native tree at Stonebridge.  It will add to the biodiversity and will be a beautiful feature close to the wetland.”

The Association began in 1987 when Janet placed an advert in a local paper arranging a meeting at The Sun (now The Marlborough) for those interested in forming a dyslexia support group in the town.  At the time dyslexia was not fully recognised and many parents battled to have their children supported. 

A committee was formed and at the first public meeting Harry Chasty, who was the Professional Director of the UK Dyslexia Institute, was invited to speak.  Thus began a long tradition of twice yearly talks, workshops and open events which have been led by both local and nationally recognised experts. 

In 1989 a display of books, games and computer programs held in the Town Hall was well attended and formed the nucleus of the Resources still held in Marlborough library.

The Association is still active in the town arranging regular talks, operating a helpline, and maintaining the resources: books, games and activities.  These are available at Marlborough library.  The association also works in partnership with the Wiltshire Dyslexia Association and Wiltshire Council to provide training and support for children and adult dyslexics. 

For more information visit the website: