28th June, 2018

Brightly coloured umbrellas have been suspended over MediaCityUK at Salford Quays as part of an initiative to raise awareness of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism.

Devised by ADHD Foundation, the Umbrella Project launches today (June 28) inside the main foyer of The Studios, and celebrates the gifts, talents and employability of those with ADHD, autism and other neuro-developmental disorders. Every umbrella has been signed by a child stating ‘My Super Power is….’ as part of a wider education programme with participating schools University Technical College at MediaCityUK and Oakwood Academy in Eccles.

It follows the phenomenal success of last year, when the Umbrella Project first appeared on Church Alley in Liverpool city centre becoming the most Instagrammed street in the city during the summer. As well as MediaCityUK, the art installation returns to Church Alley this year, launching this afternoon.

Dr Tony Lloyd, chief executive of ADHD Foundation, said:

“ADHD and autism are ‘umbrella terms’, hence the Umbrella Project was created. The objective is to highlight the skills and “super powers” of children with neuro-developmental disorders – society’s “invisible disabilities” that can lead to unfair stigma and prejudice. We want to raise awareness and kick start a conversation about how we can best improve the outcomes for these talented young people as they enter into adult life.”

 

Dr Emma Derbyshire, public health nutritionist and advisor to Equazen, lead sponsor of the Umbrella Project, said:

“The ADHD Foundation Umbrella Project is a really inspirational initiative that Equazen is part of. As a project, it illustrates the complexity and broad spectrum of behavioural issues associated with ADHD – and the need for a range of treatment options and support. Equazen is one of the few companies to fund research into omega-3 supplementation. Like myself, they know how life-changing it can be to find an effective therapy.”

 

Stephen Wild, managing director of MediaCityUK, said:

“MediaCityUK provides an environment which encourages creativity, innovation and diversity, and we are immensely proud that we were asked to be the host for the launch of this excellent initiative by ADHD Foundation. The foundation does some fantastic work across the UK and the Umbrella Project highlights that more awareness is needed to ensure we all support the educational attainment and employability of young adults with ADHD and autism.”

 

Paul Dennett, City Mayor of Salford, said:

“Salford City Council and partners are extremely pleased to welcome ADHD Foundation to MediaCityUK and work with them to raise awareness and share important messages about ADHD and autism with our community. The project provides a great opportunity to celebrate the gifts and talents of children, young people and adults with neuro-developmental conditions across the UK.”

 

Rebecca Long-Bailey, MP for Salford & Eccles, said:

“The Umbrella Project is a fantastic initiative by ADHD Foundation, and I am delighted to have been involved in supporting this year’s launch at MediaCityUK. The foundation does some amazing work with schools and children with ADHD and autism, and the Umbrella Project will highlight to those living with these conditions that it is not something which needs to be hidden away. The talents of these young adults can be harnessed, and have a positive impact in employment.”

 

Jo Platt, MP for Leigh and PPS to the Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said:

“I’m proud to be supporting the Umbrella Project organised by ADHD Foundation. This project is so special and unique because it highlights the incredibly creative gifts that those with ADHD possess in a society which all too often stigmatises those with the condition.

“Through the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group on ADHD, which I chair, we know how important it is to develop a diagnosis and treatment process which can best support those with ADHD to utilise their condition for incredible success. Therefore, over the coming months, the APPG will be looking at the best way Parliament can act to support both young people and adults with ADHD through the education and employment system, making sure as a society we are unlocking such incredible talent, entrepreneurism and creativity.”

The Umbrella Project comes thanks to the support of sponsors Equazen, makers of clinically proven brain health omega 3 & 6 supplements, Peel Land and Property Group, BBC North at MediaCityUK, Salford City Council, The Witherslack Group Alternative Education Providers and Printkick.

There are over 500,000 school age children with ADHD in the UK and over 60,000 children with autism. The foundation aims to promote and improve the mental health outcomes, educational attainment, employability, social inclusion and life chances of children, young people and adults affected by ADHD through early intervention, with a range of training and therapies.

Businesses in Greater Manchester can get involved with the Umbrella Project by sponsoring an umbrella for just £100, which will buy a whole programme of support for families. To sponsor an umbrella call Paula Stock, business development manager at ADHD Foundation, on 0151 237 2661.

For further information about ADHD Foundation visit www.adhdfoundation.org.uk. You can also follow them on Twitter @ADHDFoundation #UmbrellaProject #whatsyoursuperpower #umbrellas