Scottish IT, cyber security and internet service provider, Converged Communication Solutions, has funded the installation of brightly coloured umbrellas throughout a local primary school to promote and celebrate the neurodiversity of its pupils.
Converged donated the ADHD Foundation’s display and education pack to Ellon Primary, where 25 colourful umbrellas have been installed throughout the school as part of a nationwide campaign this summer to raise awareness of conditions such as ADHD, autism and dyslexia, which all come under the ‘umbrella’ term, ‘neurodiverse’.
Converged’s CSO, Robbie Ross, explains: “With several of our staff living with a child diagnosed with ADHD or autism, this is a topic close to our hearts. By joining a band of business supporters, we are pushing the message out to workplaces, and hope that our involvement will help employees and employers recognise not just the challenges but also the benefits that come from living with these neurodivergent conditions. As a parent at Ellon Primary, I couldn’t be more pleased that Converged has facilitated its inclusion in the umbrella project. Understanding comes from education, and I know that teachers will use the tools provided to maximise the opportunity to get the pupils engaged around the differences which make us all unique in our own way.”
To supplement the large-scale city centre umbrella installations on display throughout the summer in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, schools were invited to take part by creating their own mini umbrella displays, sponsored by local businesses.
Converged’s Managing Director, Neil Christie, adds: “Around one in five people in the UK are neurodivergent, so there is a need to ensure our corporate environment is fully inclusive for these individuals. Our future workplace will and should be shaped around a diverse workforce and tapping into everyone’s differing skillsets is the key to success. Converged is committed to supporting these important causes which champion neurodiversity and inclusion.”
The 25 umbrellas have a pre-drilled 5mm hole at the top, which allows them to be threaded with wire and suspended in prominent positions including canteens, hallways, reception areas, assembly halls and even outdoors.
Headteacher at Ellon Primary School, Leighanna Whalley, says: “The Umbrella Project is designed to flip the perception of neurodivergent individuals on its head, and celebrate the many strengths that come from thinking differently, in a bid to empower and enable the next generation of children and young people. The display has created a real talking point and encouraged open conversations, and the assembly resources and neurodiversity training webinars have been invaluable. We’d like to thank Converged for making us aware of this project and for their support in bringing it to life.”