Stroud mum funds ADHD Umbrella Project in honour of son Ben

A MUM from Stroud has funded a project raising understanding of ADHD and other neurodiverse conditions in honour of her late son.

Hundreds of multi-coloured umbrellas have been suspended above Stroud town centre as part of the initiative to raise awareness and understanding of ADHD and other neurodiverse conditions.

Stroud mum Jane Roberts funded the project in memory of her late son, Ben Roberts, who struggled with ADHD before taking his life in 2020.

Entitled the Stroud Neurodiversity Project, the aim is to shift perceptions of ADHD and encourage others to embrace ‘thinking differently’.

Jane Roberts said: “Ben was six and at school in Stroud when his teacher first suspected ADHD.

“Had he been correctly diagnosed then his life would have taken a very different path.

“I’m funding this project because there are a lot more children out there with undiagnosed ADHD.

“Neurodiverse individuals thrive when given the right support.

“They are frequently creative, imaginative, energetic and good leaders.

“The Stroud Neurodiversity Project seeks to help everyone recognise and harness their strengths and achieve their potential.”

Kindly funded by Jane, the project has been organised by the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity.

As well as the eye catching installation of 266 colourful umbrellas in the town centre, there is also going to be neurodiversity training for 500 teachers and 500 parents and carers across the district.

Twenty five schools across Stroud will feature their own individual Umbrella Project installation too.

The Umbrella Project is the highest profile neurodiversity celebration in the U.K.

Every year the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity installs thousands of colourful umbrellas overhead in public spaces to help breakdown stigmas and celebrate the beauty and value in thinking differently.

Neurodiversity is an umbrella term that includes dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, Tourette’s Syndrome, ADHD and autism.

In the U.K. two out of every five neurodiverse children leave secondary education at 16 without their learning difficulty identified.

From July until October the ADHD Foundation will deliver free, weekly live-streamed webinars for school leadership teams and SENDCOs, available to every school and college in Stroud.

It will also deliver free live-streamed webinars tailored to parents and carers of neurodiverse children, answering important questions about neurodevelopmental conditions and offering strategies about lifestyle, sleep, nutrition and living successfully.

Dr Tony Lloyd, CEO ADHD Foundation, said: “Through this important education project more parents and teachers will be better equipped to support our neurodiverse children and young people.

“ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity is actively working to change how the world views neurodiversity.

“It is not a liability but an asset, and it is my hope that the Stroud Neurodiversity Project is yet another step forward in shifting this perception.”

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