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The Thames Valley Neurodiversity Umbrella Project 2023-24

Bringing businesses and schools together to celebrate neurodiversity and to help us all think differently about thinking differently

Overview

Brighter Futures Together are delighted to announce the launch of the Thames Valley Neurodiversity Umbrella Project. Delivered in partnership with the ADHD Foundation – The Neurodiversity Charity, who pioneered the national Umbrella Project, this exciting initiative is designed to bring together schools/colleges and employers from across the area to champion neurodiversity, create change and learn. This project is also supported by Response.

Neurodivergent individuals make up a substantial proportion of not only young people in education but of the workforce and customer bases for businesses. One in five of us has a neurodevelopmental condition such as ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia or Tourette’s syndrome – all of which fall under the “umbrella” term of neurodiversity.

We are now offering local businesses and schools training and networking opportunities and the chance to sponsor or host their own mini Neurodiversity Umbrella Project installations.

Register for the free Neurodiversity basic awareness for businesses webinar delivered in partnership with the ADHD Foundation

Tuesday 12 Sept, 12.30-1:30pm

About the project

Our aim is to bring businesses and school communities together to show support to our children and young people whilst highlighting the strengths, creativity and character that being neurodivergent can bring. We hope you can join us on this journey!

If you’re a business, there are two ways you can get involved:

  • sponsor a local education setting to host a mini Umbrella Project installation on their school grounds
  • host your own mini Umbrella Project installation in your offices/premises

Whichever of the above you choose, you will be asked make a donation of £500 to the ADHD Foundation.

Every hosting school or business will receive:

  • A pack of 25 brightly coloured umbrellas to create their own display
  • Two neurodiversity training webinars for their staff
  • Access to a free lunch-and-learn webinar for parents/carers of neurodivergent pupils at the hosting school or for employees of the hosting business who have neurodivergent children
  • Exclusive resources focusing on neurodiversity, including posters and information packs, and, for schools, lesson plans and assembly presentations

 

Networking – change starts with us

We’ll also be offering a series of free networking sessions for businesses and those working with young people – anyone who is interested will be welcome to come along! By bringing people together to talk about neurodiversity we hope to:

  • Help the workforce and those supporting young people learn about and understand neurodiversity
  • Share information about the services and support on offer
  • Help us all be more neuro-inclusive in our school or workplace

What’s a mini Umbrella Project installation?

Dedicated to raising awareness and promoting understanding of neurodiversity nationwide, the ADHD Foundation created the Neurodiversity Umbrella Project. You might have already seen their eye-catching umbrellas popping up in cities, schools, colleges or universities across the UK. In 2022, 10 major cities and 524 schools hosted Umbrella Project displays. Every such installation helps to raise awareness and understanding of neurodiversity and is an uplifting visual representation of the intelligence, ingenuity and employability of neurodivergent people.

Become a host or sponsor

If you are a local business interested in sponsoring the Thames Valley Neurodiversity Umbrella Project or hosting your own mini umbrella installation, please come along to our online information sessions to find out more or email us at:
[email protected]

FAQs

How sponsorship works

We are calling on all local schools and businesses, large and small, to join us in making a difference by taking part in the Thames Valley Neurodiversity Umbrella Project.

If you’re a business, you can:

  • sponsor a local education setting to host a mini Umbrella Project installation on their school grounds
  • host your own mini Umbrella Project installation in your offices/premises

Whichever of the above you choose, you will be asked make a donation of £500 per installation to the ADHD Foundation.

How will my business benefit from being a sponsor or host?

Boost your brand’s ethos on diversity and inclusion

As a corporate partner, this is an exciting CSR opportunity to inspire talent, nurture ability, develop potential and celebrate diversity. By hosting your own mini umbrella installation, you will be championing neurodiversity in your workplace. By sponsoring a local school, you will help us bring umbrella displays to more education settings and engage more young people, enabling them to better understand themselves and each other. Your support will help us to improve the life chances of those living with and around neurodevelopmental conditions.

Reach a wide audience

You will have a unique opportunity to connect directly with local families and educators. As well as local scope, you will be part of a national project via our partner, the ADHD Foundation, which has more than 200,000 social media followers. The national Umbrella Project enjoys huge media and social media coverage, with more than 380 million media hits to date.

Experience the benefits of workplace neuroinclusivity

Neurodiversity is a significant business asset – according to the Harvard Business Review, employees who think differently can help organisations gain a considerable competitive advantage. Yet, there continues to be a lack of understanding of neurodiversity within the workplace. A recent survey by the City & Guilds Foundation of 1,000 employees and employers working both in the UK and globally found that only 29% of senior leaders and 23% of HR staff had had training relating to neurodiversity in the previous 12 months.

Our sponsorship packages include neurodiversity training delivered by the ADHD Foundation. The training is designed to raise awareness of the many benefits of workplace neuroinclusivity and explore how to adapt working practices to ensure your neurodivergent candidates and employees feel accepted, valued and supported to reach their full potential.

How will my school benefit from hosting a mini umbrella installation?

For education settings, the project gives all pupils, families and staff a chance to learn more about and celebrate neurodiversity, as well as providing media coverage and networking opportunities.

What will each host business or school receive?

  • A pack of 25 brightly coloured umbrellas to create their own display
  • Two neurodiversity training webinars for their staff
  • Access to a free lunch-and-learn webinar for parents/carers of neurodivergent pupils at the hosting school or for employees of the hosting business who have neurodivergent children
  • Exclusive resources focusing on neurodiversity, including posters and information packs, and, for schools, lesson plans and assembly presentations

Can my business sponsor more than one education setting?

Yes! For every education setting you sponsor you will be asked to make a donation of £500 to the ADHD Foundation.

We have a really good link with a local school. Can we sponsor them?

Yes, you can. Just let us know when you get in touch that you have a particular school in mind that you would like to sponsor.

Who is the sponsorship/hosting donation made to?

The sponsorship/hosting donation of £500 per mini umbrella installation is made directly to the ADHD Foundation and covers the costs of running the project.

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