Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Simon Donald; 5 QUESTION FOR.... Simon Donald Is Kicking off April with a Fundraising Gig on Tyneside. Sam Wonfor Asked Him Some Questions to Find out More

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Simon Donald; 5 QUESTION FOR.... Simon Donald Is Kicking off April with a Fundraising Gig on Tyneside. Sam Wonfor Asked Him Some Questions to Find out More

Article excerpt

Viz co-creator and stand-up comic, Simon Donald was 40 when he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Over the past few years he has been involved with charity Dyslexia North East and in April he'll be hosting his biggest fundraising gig yet at The Cluny in Newcastle's Ouseburn Valley.

1. How long have you been involved with Dyslexia North East and what does the charity do? Good question. I think it's about five years now.

Dyslexia North East provides many types of support for people of all ages who are affected by dyslexia and associated conditions. Their aim is to set up a permanent base on Tyneside to provide its support services in a drop-in centre. Problems with reading, writing and memory can be quite damaging, not only to a person's academic achievements, but perhaps more importantly to their confidence.

2. When and how were you diagnosed with dyslexia? Most of my life I'd bought into the idea that this was just laziness, despite the fact I was trying twice as hard as those who found reading easy. It's remarkable how much you can believe something ridiculous if there isn't another answer available. My teachers knew nothing of dyslexia. Many years after I'd left school my old English teacher even scoffed at its existence. Twelve years ago, aged 40, I took myself to a friend's house whose mother is a tutor for dyslexic students and asked how to get myself assessed. She ran the initial tests on me herself and, lo and behold, despite having an English comprehension score in the top bracket, my reading speed was so slow I was literally off the scale and couldn't complete the test in the time allowed.

3. Who's on at this gig, then - and why do you like them? bits of chat and introducing the acts. I'll throw in some jokes and a couple of my comedy songs. The proper musicians are The Middens, Acoustic Whodlums, The Purest Green and Hannah Lamb plus guests. …

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