Community Champions

Entrepreneurs raise £1,500 to help dyslexic children succeed

Written by Peter Davison.

Darren Clark and Kelly HolbrookEntrepreneurs Darren Clark and Kelly Holbrook have raised at least £1,500 for their new association to help children with dyslexia locally, nationally and overseas.

The pair, who run the Chippenham-based Spotless Group, held a charity gala ball earlier this month at Bowood Hotel & Spa to raise funds for this deserving cause.

Darren, now 42, was diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 36 and this revealed why he’d been labelled one of the ‘slow’ children at school and was made to feel he was worthless when it came to education.

He said: “Being diagnosed made things fall into place for me. I realised I wasn’t stupid – after all I’ve created a successful business with the support of my business partner Kelly.

"That was following a career in retail from a trolley boy to a senior manager. Now I want to give back in order to help other children who learn in a different way.”

The event also marked the launch of the Spotless Dyslexia Association which will continue to raise money to support various projects.

The event will pay for equipment for those with dyslexia and learning difficulties at Sheldon School, Chippenham; support a national after-school project run by the national British Dyslexia Association; and further plans at the Rare Gem School in Kenya to buy their own plot of land for a new school – currently it’s believed to be the only school in Kenya dedicated to helping children with dyslexia.

Supporting the gala ball was tv presenter Paul Martin, known for presenting popular shows like Make Me A Dealer, Flog It!, and Countryfile Diaries, who has now pledged to become a patron.

Other speakers included LeDerick Horne, a poet and motivational speaker from New York who is also dyslexic, Jordan Harry, CEO of StudyFast and Andy Workman, a specialist in mental health training. Main sponsors for the event were insurance brand Jelf.

Spotless co-founder Kelly said: “We’d like to thank everyone who supported us at our first fundraising event. We were truly humbled and it’s fantastic to raise £1,500 and money is still coming in.”

Business partners, Darren and Kelly, 34, have been working together since 2011, and have rapidly grown the company’s original two businesses Spotless Spaces and Spotless Domestic Cleaning.

Today they both sit under the Spotless Group umbrella alongside a thriving training arm Spotless Training and Spotless Networking.

Darren is also an ambassador for the British Dyslexia Association and the International Dyslexia Association.