Support group for neurodivergent adults and children gets grant

Lesley Collier and daughter Freya at recent event.

A support group for neurodivergent adults, children and parent carers has received national recognition for its “outstanding” contribution to the local community.

And now Neurodiverse Community Catterick (NDCC) will be able to reach out and help more people in the area thanks to a £500 grant from Broadacres.

The group provides drop-in sessions, events, training and advice for children and adults with autism, ADHD, tourettes, epilepsy, and down syndrome. Set up just four years ago it already has a core of 100 people accessing its sessions and was nominated for a community organisation award at the recent National Diversity Awards.

The group has used a Broadacres Community Development Fund grant to buy various sensory items including inflatable balls of different shapes and textures that can help soothe children and a circle swing which can be used by all including a down syndrome child whose lack of core strength prevents her from using traditional swings.

Founder Lesley Collier set up the group and said: “When your child is neurodiverse you can find suddenly the party invites stop, doors are closed, and you can become isolated. The idea behind the group was to provide a safe space where children can play and express themselves.”

The group also used part of the grant for a banner and other marketing items which they used at a recent Tesco bag pack and have been amazed by the response.

“There are so many people out there looking for some help and support. This is one of the few exclusive places for parent carers, children and adults where they won’t face stares and judgement,” said Lesley.

The group has proved so successful it is rapidly outgrowing the community hub where it holds four sessions a week. Volunteers have now drawn up a business plan in the hope of securing their own premises.

For more information about the group visit www.ndccatterick.co.uk, search on facebook or email ndccatterick@outlook.com

The Broadacres Community Development Fund supports local organisations, groups, and projects in areas where Broadacres has homes. All grants are approved by the Association’s own residents, via a Community Development Fund Panel.

Broadacres resident Patrick Brown, who is on the Panel, said: “Neurodiverse Community Catterick is doing an outstanding job and we were delighted to award the highest grant possible to further support its excellent work.”

People/organisations who would like to apply through the Community Development Fund can visit www.broadacres.org.uk/customer-area/getting-involved/community-development-fund to find out more.