Umbrella project

A huge splash of colour arrived in Liverpool with the help of pupils from St Oswald’s Primary School as 200 brightly coloured umbrellas were suspended over a busy city centre street.

The goal behind this initiative was to raise awareness and understanding, encouraging discussion around Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism.

Devised and curated by Liverpool-based ADHD Foundation, which this year celebrated its tenth anniversary as a charity, the Umbrella Project transformed Church Alley (leading up to the Bluecoat) into a canopy of colour.

The individual umbrellas were also personally signed by children from St Oswald’s and schools across Merseyside, many of whom have ADHD, autism and other neurodevelopment conditions.

Explaining the idea behind the Umbrella Project, Dr Tony Lloyd, chief executive of ADHD Foundation, said: “The name for the project was actually chosen by the brilliant children who work with the foundation.

“ADHD and autism are ‘umbrella terms’ for a whole variety of neurodevelopment difficulties, and we want to highlight that fact and challenge the stigma of what can be ‘invisible’ disabilities.

“The Umbrella Project is about reminding adults – be it parents, teachers or potential employees – that young people with ADHD and other conditions possess many gifts, talents and skills to offer their communities.

“Their condition is not a disabler, but an enabler, a superpower!”

Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “I wholeheartedly support ADHD Foundation’s Umbrella Project.

Liverpool City Council is fully committed to supporting the education, mental health and employability of people with ADHD and autism.

“Raising awareness is fundamental in engaging conversations and promoting the general public’s understanding of ADHD.

“I want Liverpool to truly be an ADHD and autism friendly city. We have to work together to remove the barriers that are preventing people from being able to reach their true potential. The Umbrella Project is a great way of showing that commitment and engaging those conversations.”

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