This is the Police National Dyslexia Association's logo, which has the crest logo of the association alongside the name.

Our colleagues in WMP shared this internal bulletin on their intranet:

‘A new national police association is set to improve the support available for colleagues with dyslexia and other neurodivergent conditions.

The Police National Dyslexia Association (PNDA), affectionately nicknamed ‘Panda’ will also raise awareness around the conditions and offer support to supervisors.

PNDA Representatives and Guests at the House of Lords, Photo by Six Eight Photo.

On Tuesday (20 February) representatives from PNDA hosted an event at the Houses of Parliament to outline the mission of the group and the support it will offer.

Among the 70 guests were WMP’s Assistant Chief Constable Matt Welsted and Inspector James Bird, who were invited to talk at the launch about their own personal journeys and the unique skills their dyslexic and neurodiverse conditions bring.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Welsted

A comment was made by Chief Officers to work proactively to support the vision of the association.

The Police National Dyslexia Association’s missions are:

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Welsted said: ‘It was a huge privilege to attend this launch in the historic Houses of Parliament.

Assistant Chief Constable Matt Welsted with PNDA Chair and co-founder, Maria Canning, and Vice Chairs and co-founders Chris Walton-Tate and Christian Blair at New Scotland Yard

‘It is my hope that this will be a turning point for policing, where difference is valued and celebrated for the strengths it brings to our rich and diverse organisation.

‘The stigma and shame of being different needs to be consigned to the history books; we need to move forward forcusing on what we can do and not what we find difficult.

‘Dyslexic thinking is an asset to policing and I hope PNDA will help us support colleagues’ to overcome our challenges and unlock their potential. West Midlands Police, being at the front of this is just another example of how we are an employer of choice, driven to serve the communities of the West Midlands.’

The chair of the network, Sgt Maria Canning, Devon & Cornwall Police, said, ‘Planning this launch and seeing it unforld has been brilliant, however now that’s done the real work can start. The fundamental reason for setting up the network is to help people so, please, if you need any support with all things dyslexia, reach out.’

Inspector James Bird said, ‘It was an absolute honour to be asked to speak at the launch of the PNDA this week. Dyslexic thinking should only ever be seen as an absolute strength in policing and leadership, not a barrier.

‘Problem solving, big picture thinking and outside of the box solutions are natural strengths for dyslexics. West Midlands Police continues to be a significant pioneer in this area and continue to support others nationally, promoting the advantages of dyslexic and Neurodiverse workforces.’

Inspector James Bird