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Selston mum helping to paint a brighter future for the pupils of Dawn House

March 26, 2024

Fiona Eady of Selston, Nottingham is set to run the TCS 2024 London Marathon in support of Speech and Language UK  – a charity that supports children with speech and language challenges.

If that wasn’t enough, Fiona – who works for Severn Trent Water – and a team of her colleagues are rolling up their sleeves and picking up their paint brushes to give Dawn House in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire, a fresh lick of paint on Wednesday 27th March. Fiona and team will also be selling cakes on Thursday at Dawn House school for their Easter event!

When asked why she is supporting Speech and Language UK, Fiona said:

“In my 50th year, I have decided to run the London Marathon and raise money for Speech and Language UK as they support young people with speech and language challenges including providing specialist education, which my daughter benefits from. My daughter faces daily challenges in communicating and understanding others, but the progress she is making thanks to their support is truly groundbreaking.  I am really pleased that my colleagues from Severn Trent Water have kindly volunteered their time to help paint and spruce up Dawn House to say thanks for all the help they give to my daughter and families all over Nottinghamshire and the UK.”

Jenny McConnell, Dawn House Principal said:

“We are incredibly grateful to Fiona and all her colleagues for volunteering their time to help the children at Dawn House. Right now, 1.9 million children across the UK have speech and language challenges, which is the highest number ever recorded! Children’s education has been severely disrupted by the Covid pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis which has had a huge impact on children learning to talk and understand words. The fact that Fiona is also going the extra mile by running the 2024 TCS London Marathon to help us support children and their families across Nottinghamshire and the UK is absolutely amazing!” 

To sponsor Fiona, please click here to visit her fundraising page.

Click here to take part in an event for Speech and Language UK.


Notes to editors:

For media enquiries, please contact Simon Walsh, Press Manager, Speech and Language UK via  

Dawn House is a specialist school run by the charity Speech and Language UK for children with severe or complex speech and language challenges. It is in Rainworth, Nottinghamshire.

A recent report from Speech and Language UK found that 1.9 million children are behind with talking and understanding words - the highest number ever recorded.  Speech and Language UK estimate that 128,240 children across the EAST MIDLANDS have speech and language challenges.

Of the East Midlands based teachers surveyed who responded to Speech and Language UK’s survey:

  • 76% think children in their classroom are behind with their talking and/or understanding of words.
  • 83% don’t think parents know about the importance of talking and understanding words for their child’s wellbeing and learning.
  • 70% think children will struggle with their talking or understanding of words, compared to those who started secondary school before the pandemic.
  • 75% think that children’s speech and language is not prioritised by the Government.
  • 49% don’t feel they have sufficient training to support pupils’ speech and language in the classroom.

Wider research has found that a child with speech and language challenges is at risk of:

  • More mental health problems:81% of children with emotional and behavioural disorders have significant speech and language challenges, often unidentified1 and 45% of young people referred for mental health services2

Worse literacy and numeracy: 6x more likely to be behind in English, 11x more likely to be behind in Maths3 at 11 years with only 15% gaining a 9-5 pass at GCSE in English and Maths.4

  • Increased risk of offending:At least 60% of young offenders have language difficulties.5
  • Less secure employment:2x more likely to experience insecure employment as adults.6


Who are Speech and Language UK?

For at least 1.9 million children in the UK, learning to talk and understand words feels like an impossible hurdle. We work to give every child the skills they need to face the future with confidence.  We design innovative tools and training for thousands of nursery assistants and teachers to use in their classrooms.  We give families the confidence and skills to help their children. And we put pressure on politicians to prioritise help for speech and language challenges.

We demand a country in which every child with challenges in talking and understanding words has the skills they need to face the future with confidence. Together we can achieve it.