Shropshire dyslexia ambassador Eli Wilkinson is celebrating an achievement of a lifetime after being made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to dyslexia. 

The 50-year-old, who founded the Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant (DDC) 15 years ago and launched the annual Dyslexia Awards in 2015, has dedicated almost her entire working career to raising awareness and greater understanding of dyslexia. 

Over the years she has supported thousands of individuals to adopt a more positive mindset about their own abilities, worked with educators and guided employers across Shropshire and beyond to drive greater awareness and inclusivity in the workplace. 

The latest achievement comes as entries officially open for the 2022 round of the Dyslexia Awards, which, for the first time, will celebrate the accomplishments of dyslexic people UK-wide. 

Eli said: “I am truly flabbergasted to have received this recognition. I keep having to pinch myself. It feels so unreal. 

“My entire life has been focused on raising greater awareness and understanding of dyslexia – ensuring that individuals and organisations see the positives rather than the negatives – and for my work to be recognised in this way is such a huge honour.” 

Eli wasn’t diagnosed with dyslexia until aged 33. She left school with little more than a handful of GCSEs (grade D or lower) and a niggling feeling that she could have achieved so much more had she received the right support for her Specific Learning Disability (SpLD). 

The experience sparked a determination in Eli that, some years later in 2007, resulted in her setting up the not-for-profit company, The DDC, followed by a 10-year vision for improving and creating more accessible dyslexia services across the county. 

Through The DDC, Eli works with dyslexic adults to break down learning barriers and promote confidence, as well as designing and delivering bespoke training programmes for employers wishing to become dyslexia friendly. 

She pioneered the Dyslexia Information Day – an annual event designed to help people access trustworthy, free advice about dyslexia – and is the founder of the Dyslexia Awards. 

“It’s been quite a journey but I’m proud of everything I’ve achieved over the last 22 years and more and how my work has helped and influenced individuals and employers alike,” said Eli. 

“The timing of this award could not have come at a better or more exciting time as we launch the Dyslexia Awards on a national scale for the very first time, giving people up and down the UK the chance to shine for their achievements and become positive role models for those who are dyslexic. 

“This is a giant leap forward for the awards but one which we hope will be supported far and wide as we continue to drive forward greater positive thinking around dyslexia.”