'I was told I would be a nobody' - police detective and former soldier runs for dyslexia charity

By Ben Fitzgerald - 8 January 2019


Acting Detective Sergeant Rob Blake spent his childhood thinking he was stupid after being told by his teachers that he would be a nobody and left school with no qualifications. He had no idea that he was an undiagnosed dyslexic. The condition, which leads to difficulties with reading, writing and spelling, affects one in ten people in the UK.

He explained: “I spent my life being told I’d never achieve what I wanted. Teachers told me that I would be a nobody, so I often skipped school and ended up leaving with no qualifications.”

After school, Rob decided he wanted to join the army. It was during this time that he discovered he was dyslexic. He spent six years in the army and served in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

When he left the army, he joined the police and passed the initial assessment despite many people expecting him to fall at the first hurdle.

Rob said: “Since then, I have sat and passed exams that required hours of study and have been determined and happy to prove people wrong. I would never have been able to do it without the support from family and friends, and eventually having a better understanding of dyslexia.”

During his policing career to date, Rob has carried out a number of roles including response policing, CID, domestic violence, major crime and is currently Acting Detective Sergeant in Melksham CID.

“The biggest challenge is having belief that you are good enough to push forward and achieve what you want to," he said.

"Many of the specialist roles and promotions in the job are extremely competitive and I don’t want to be held back by a lack of self-belief or for any other officer with dyslexia to feel that way either.”

To show his support for others, Rob will be running the London Marathon this year in aid of Dyslexia Research Trust. In a bid to raise funds for the big event, Rob will also be holding a 24-hour treadmill run at Wiltshire Police Headquarters on 24 February.

He added: “DRT research the condition so we have a better understanding that can help to support children and adults with dyslexia so they can achieve in life.

“Anything anyone can give to help this charity would be great and will help on those long runs in the winter months in preparation for a challenge of a different kind.”

Sponsor Rob here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Robert-Blake-LondonMarathon2019_DRT

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