Glen Fraser: Prince Philip Prizewinner
I’m delighted to have won the Hammermen Award and to be awarded the Prince Philip Prize. Back in school, when I struggled with dyslexia none of these seemed possible and my future really worried me. This is why I’m incredible delighted to have donated part of my prize winnings to Dyslexia Scotland, which I hope will be able to help people in the same position I once was.
At the age of 10 I was asked as part of my Primary 6 year, to prepare and present a presentation on someone that you admired. At the time, I had been aware of my dyslexia for only a number of years and was starting to come to terms with it. School was a real worry for me and my family. I had the ability to complete school work, but I struggled simply reading and dissecting questions before I could even think to answer them. Luckily I had hobbies to take my mind off this. I’ve always been a petrol head and had started racing karts at the age of 8 years old, at the West Of Scotland Kart Club. This and dyslexia combined meant that the only person I could have as an inspiration to me is Sir Jackie Stewart. He’s a 3-time world champion, regarded to be one of the best drivers ever to have raced in Formula One, undertook an incredibly successful business career after retiring from racing and did it all with dyslexia.
I prepared the presentation on Sir Jackie, his life and what he had achieved despite having dyslexia but was incredibly nervous to present it. In the days approaching the presentation I became increasingly concerned that I would struggle to read my notes. However, the day before the presentation I came home to a package and a letter sitting on the kitchen table for me. This was most peculiar as I never received letters or packages at this age! I opened the letter and It was from Sir Jackie himself. He said he had heard that I was doing a presentation on him and give me some pointers and motivation for it and dealing with dyslexia in general. He also said that the contents of the package might help me with my presentation. I opened it and it had a large selection of racing memorabilia. I still to this day have no idea who informed him of my presentation, but this boosted my confidence and I went in to school the next day and got full marks for my presentation! Over the next few years I wrote and traded emails with Sir Jackie and we discussed dyslexia along with racing. This was motivational for me to be talking to someone that was an inspiration of mine and find out that we actually weren’t that different and struggled with the same problems.
Unfortunately, as school became more time demanding I lost contact with Sir Jackie which was a disappointing, as his advice had really helped me. Fast-forward to this year and after winning the Hammermen Award and Prince Philip Prize, I decided to get back in contact with Sir Jackie as I wanted to inform him of what I was doing now and also use my prize money to help others like myself. Sir Jackie is the chairman of Dyslexia Scotland, a fantastic organisation that helps dyslexics across the country and this Is the organisation I wished to donate to. I wrote to Sir Jackie and he was delighted to hear about my awards and donation. He invited me to the annual Dyslexia Scotland ambassadors lunch in Edinburgh, which I attended and was able to meet my idol once again.
I’m incredibly grateful to be in the position to have done this as I could have quite easily used the money for something else. But doing this has made me happy to think that this is what I needed someone to do back when I was struggling in school, and now I have done it myself for someone else.