'Dyslexia should not be a barrier to success': Women in Guernsey raise awareness of the condition

  • ITV Channel reporter Serena Sandhu meets those who are pushing for greater awareness around dyslexia

A Guernsey woman who was diagnosed with dyslexia aged 33 is trying to empower others with the neurological condition.

Vicki Merrien was diagnosed in February 2024 and says she was not supported through her exams at school.

But over the last 15 years, Vicki says her dyslexia has not been a barrier in her finance career.

She says the issue was the lack of awareness in school: "At the time it wasn't something we spoke about, there wasn't big awareness around it which didn't help.

"Now I would hope schools would pick up on these things a little bit quicker and our children today wouldn't have to struggle through school life and then question themselves as an adult."

Around 10 to 15% of people in the Channel Islands are thought to have dyslexia.

Specialist Hilary Greening says the condition can affect people in more than one way: "If you ask most people what dyslexia means to them they talk about jumbling letters, not being good at spelling or maybe you'll grow out of it, but it is much more than that.

"It affects people's lives and Vicki was an example of that, it affects concentration, memory, coordination, mental calculations, mathematics."

Vicki has shown it should not be a barrier to success, she is now a financial manager.

She explains: "I'm not a person who doesn't like being told I can't achieve something so having the diagnosis means I can help answer in my own brain, the way I think and process things so it makes me understand myself better."

Her workplace is learning to embrace neurodiversity through online training to change perceptions about how people's brains work.

Hilary says opening up these conversations is important for the future of workplaces: "That is the key to upskilling people within schools and the workplace so they have a better understanding of the potential they are missing out on."