Saturday, July 13, 2024
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    AN inspirational group which celebrates, supports and nurtures children and young people with ADHD, autism and other Neurodiverse conditions held a very special gettogether in Newcastle last week.

    There were many thousands of reasons for the team and supporters of the ADHD Parent Support Group, which also runs a successful coffee shop and a series of workshops, to be celebrating – in fact just shy of 110,000 reasons to be exact.

    The group, founded in 2017, has just received £109,140 of National Lottery funding – which is something of an achievement given the fact the group does not hold charitable status. Founder, Janet Ward, described the allocation as “a fantastic and much-appreciated amount”, adding that all the volunteers are thrilled to have the achievements of the support group and its various initiatives acknowledged by a funder of this calibre. The money, she explained, will be used over the next three years to carry on providing what she described as “enhancing” services, which will benefit so many, especially with the aim of helping improve physical and mental health, as well as tackling isolation. This will include art therapy sessions for carers, day retreats, fitness classes, summer schemes, the ‘Unit T Stars’, where focussed and tailor-made gym sessions are provided, as well as improvement work to the hub. “We are thrilled and so appreciative to have received this donation and know the many positives it will bring,” she said, adding that the hub operates an open door policy and everyone, young and old alike, is always made most welcome.

    Specialising in helping children and adults that have ADHD, ASD and poor mental health, whilst supporting anyone with a Neurodiverse condition, the coffee shop, along Savoy Lane, is run by adults and young volunteers, helping them develop their life skills and giving them much-needed work experience to gain future employment. Providing a safe environment, Janet added that the coffee shop has “a fantastic team of young volunteers who are the life and soul of the building, serving everyone with a warm and welcoming smile way before their order is even taken!” In addition, alternative therapies are offered as well as ongoing support, monthly meetings, courses, regular workshops for children, parents and siblings and the hub even provides a calming sensory room for families to relax in.

    The support group has forged many ties across the country, and is seen as a leading contributor to community life; with a desire to give back and help as many others as it can, including fundraising for other good causes. With the ongoing goal of removing stigmas, Janet and the team were delighted to hold last week’s celebration. With the desire to help so many more, the local mum-oftwo has encouraged any individuals, including adults, who may benefit from the group’s support to reach out.

    Also praising the support group’s work was Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of The National Lottery Community Fund. “We’re delighted to be awarding £109,140 of National Lottery funding to the ADHD Parent Support Group,” she said. “This funding is going to make a big difference to the lives of children and adults with ADHD and their families, who will be supported to make connections, build their confidence and learn new skills.”

    Noting that National Lottery funding makes “a difference to the lives of people and communities across Northern Ireland”, she added: “It is inspiring to see projects like this. The funding boost for Newcastle’s ADHD Hub has also been warmly welcomed by Cllr Jill Truesdale.

    Cllr Truesdale, who attended the celebration event, said she was “absolutely delighted to celebrate this amazing funding with the ADHD Hub”. The Alliance councillor said the funding will make “a huge difference” and will enable the local group to plan ahead. She added that she is a “huge advocate” of groups such as the ADHD Hub and has seen what an “invaluable impact” they have on families. “I am delighted that this funding has been secured and I can’t wait to see how it allows Janet and her team to develop their programmes and provide support for years to come.”

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