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Duration: 10 minutes

Dragon Theo Paphitis makes an appeal on behalf of bibic (the British Institute for Brain Injured Children), a charity that helps children with a range of developmental problems such as autism, cerebral palsy or dyslexia. As a dyslexic himself, Theo found school hard. He goes back to his primary school in North London to revisit his childhood memories and meets 19-year-old Maia, who is also dyslexic, but with the help of the charity has realised her potential and started a successful dance business.

  • Donate online now

    Donate online now

    Please donate by going to the website or by calling 01278 684 060. Or if you’d like to post a donation please make your cheque payable to bibic and send it to bibic, FREEPOST (BS8264), Knowle Hall, Bridgwater, Somerset TA7 8BR.

  • Theo Paphitis

    Theo Paphitis

    Growing up with dyslexia made everything more of a challenge for me. It wasn't recognised at the time and people just thought I was stupid. Learning about bibic and the work it does to change children's lives really struck a chord with me - it is about unlocking the potential of young people, growing their confidence and helping them to achieve their dreams.

  • bibic


    200 babies are born each week with a disability. Thousands more acquire a brain-related condition that can make the world around them a frightening and confusing place and impacts on their lives in ways that most of us are unable to understand. Parents often feel helpless and are desperate for practical help to ensure that they give their child every opportunity to reach their full potential.

    bibic transforms the lives of children who face the challenge of living with a brain-related condition, empowering families with a tailored programme of simple skills, strategies and exercises that enable them to help their child develop in ways they would never have imagined.

    Imagine if you could help a disabled child smile for the first time, or if they could play with friends, catch a ball or say "I love you" after years of being unable to communicate. Supported by bibic, thousands of children battling complex conditions will smile and laugh for the first time, will reach out and hold their Mum’s hand, say ‘dada’ and even write their name without help.

    Our BBC Lifeline Appeal introduces you to bibic’s life-changing work with some incredible and inspiring children and families. None of this would be possible without the support of people like you – thank you for finding out how you can help today.

  • Robert


    Ten year old Robert was diagnosed as partially deaf as a young boy. He found communicating difficult and could only express his frustration through violence. By the time Robert was eight he was regularly being excluded from class. His mum, Romy, says that he was completely out of control. “He would hit out at anyone or anything. We were in this black hole and we couldn’t get help.”

    Robert had his first bibic assessment a year ago and therapists established that his brain struggled to process touch and pain. His parents were given a set of massaging techniques to stimulate his muscles so he could build up his senses. The therapy also tackled Robert’s speech problems and he’s now talking much more. The family are enjoying life again, as his dad Martin says, “In the space of a year, it’s fair to say it is like having a new son.”

  • Ben


    Ben is 10 years old. His developmental problems made him lack confidence and selectively mute. When he first came to bibic, he was only able to talk to his family and whisper to a couple of school friends. Even at the age of seven, Ben worried about how he’d live an adult life if he never managed to speak. His bibic therapist recognised that his brain had difficulties processing sounds and that he had problems with his short-term memory and coordination. He was given a programme of exercises which were designed to open new brain pathways that he was to do with his family at home.

    It’s made a life changing difference. Ben’s confidence is now much higher and he goes to a school of 130 pupils and speaks to everyone. His mum Clare, remarks, “he’s like a totally different boy.”

  • Maia


    Maia found school difficult and struggled with her spelling and writing. She would always spend twice as long on work as other students but would be told her work wasn’t of a good standard because she wasn’t working hard enough. Maia said, “I was trying so hard. I felt quite inadequate, like I was stupid.”

    Maia's mum Sue said, "she was enormously unhappy, every day was a struggle to get through that day".

    At 12 years old Maia was diagnosed with dyslexia. Her parents found out about bibic and went along for an assessment. Therapists suggested that she should use coloured filters to help her read and gave her a set of techniques to boost her memory. After thinking that she would never finish school, she now has 3 A Levels and runs a dance business.

    Maia says, “I had kind of given up. It was only after I went to bibic I felt like it was worth trying, like I was worth trying. It has changed my life completely.”

  • Ben and his brother playing with a camera

    Ben and his brother playing with a camera

  • Getting ready to film

    Getting ready to film

  • Theo being mic'd up

    Theo being mic'd up

  • Maia and the charity meeting Theo

    Maia and the charity meeting Theo


Theo Paphitis
Executive Producer
Gary Hunter


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