Barbara Martin's side of the story...
Posted on 10th August 2017 at 14:13
Barbara Martin, who used to be a tutor at the Centre, but now runs the ADC Helpline, recounts her time supporting Chef Richard Bainbridge.
It is a privilege to be part of Richard Bainbridge’s journey and, watching the video brought me back to the time when we worked together about eleven years ago. At that time I was teaching dyslexic students in schools whilst following a diploma course to enable me to assess and teach dyslexic adults. I remember Debbie Farnfield (co-founder of the Adult Dyslexia Centre) putting me in touch with a young chef who was struggling with his dyslexia. He wanted to find and use the strengths of his way of processing and working. I assessed him to find out his strengths and weaknesses and then we had a lesson every Monday for 25 weeks. As he says in the video, we started with the absolute basics; the ‘code’ that he needed in order to read and write confidently. I think that one of our proudest moments was when he read his first book – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
When I had successfully completed my diploma, I became a tutor at the Adult Dyslexia Centre and Richard continued to work with me. This was when we focussed on bringing it all together in his workplace. He also followed a couple of group courses at the Adult Dyslexia Centre to learn further strategies. His commitment to learning was amazing to witness – and I also learned along the way – about following your dream and about making asparagus mousse.
We have kept in touch over the years and I have followed his career as a chef. I travelled to Norwich when he opened his restaurant, Benedicts, in 2015 and I watched and read about his successes – a winner on BBC 2’s Great British Menu and then a judge on the programme; Benedicts gaining a place in The Times and The Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants in the UK; his restaurant being voted the best in Norwich. He mentions in his video that he now writes for a Norfolk newspaper and he is also asked to write ‘forwards’ for cookbooks. Richard has assembled a team that support him so that he can follow his cooking passion…and produce magic!
I went to Benedicts again this summer and had another wonderful feast of flavours.
It is amazing when I remember that, at school, he was not allowed to follow a GCSE in Food Technology because of his poor literacy skills and that he struggled to write and then read his own kitchen notes at his chef’s station when I first met him.
Passion is a driving force and when you are inspired, have self-awareness and know your strengths – the sky is the limit! Expect to see more of Richard in the papers and on television …and if you are in Norwich, pop in to Benedicts!
The Adult Dyslexia Centre has also gone from strength to strength since the time that I first met Richard. We now offer a greater range of classes and courses and more support to everyone who visits us at the Centre.
There is a growing movement for people to see dyslexia as a difference and not a disability; as a strength and not a weakness. The ethos of the Adult Dyslexia Centre has always been to promote the positives and it has made a difference to many people’s lives. I love that I am part of this.
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