Warm welcome for farming with dyslexia working group

South Scotland MSP Claudia Beamish MSP has welcomed the launch a working group, led by NFU Scotland, to look at support for farmers with dyslexia.

The Farming With Dyslexia Working Group, which brings together a number of agencies, held its second meeting on November 5 to celebrate National Dyslexia Week.

During the meeting, the group launched a range of campaign materials to raise awareness of the issue, including a poster and new logo.

It is estimated that one in 10 people in Scotland are on the dyslexic spectrum. However, the SRUC has confirmed that some 25 per cent of its current intake of agriculture students are dyslexic.

Claudia Beamish MSP, a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Dyslexia, who herself has dyslexia, said:

“When you think about the number of people across Scotland with dyslexia, it stands to reason that many farmers will be affected. Many people do not realise that they are dyslexic so awareness raising is very important.

“NFU Scotland has recognised that running a farm can be very difficult for people living with dyslexia and I am pleased that they are leading the working group.

“I hope that the agencies involved will be able to work well together to find practical solutions to make life easier for these farmers.

“As someone with dyslexia, and as a former teacher, I am very pleased to support this initiative. I will be working closely with NFU Scotland to highlight and promote this campaign to the wider farming community.”

Clare Slipper, Parliamentary Officer at NFU Scotland added: “We are delighted that Claudia has lent her support to this campaign, which is doing a great deal in raising awareness of dyslexia in the farming community. So many people, many of whom are members of NFU Scotland, have come forward to voice their support for the campaign in recent weeks and confirm our suspicions of how widespread dyslexia is within the farming community.

“One of our main aims is to try and remove the stigma that many dyslexics feel, and to make life easier for those with dyslexia in the modern-day farming industry which is dogged with form-filling and paperwork. By getting people to talk about this issue, we hope others will share their experiences with a view to driving positive change for the future for the many dyslexic Scottish farmers and their families.

“We look forward to working closely with Claudia and her colleagues in the Scottish Parliament to take this issue forward and seek constructive change for the next generation of dyslexic farmers.”

In June, The Galloway Gazette highlighted the problem of dyslexia in farming by telling Sandy McCreath story and his struggle to cope with the bureaucratic demands of 21st Century farming as a dyslexic.