In October 2022, we announced the fantastic teen winners of the ACT Bright Future Prize – Ardonagh Community Trust’s annual competition which empowers and invests in the next generation of community leaders. Our four winners shared a prize fund of £40,000 to turn their dreams for community projects into a reality.
Our Community category was won by Kaydi Scottsville from West Lothian in Scotland. Using her own experience of navigating school and growing up with autism, and the challenges it presented her, Kaydi has strived to make sure other neurodiverse young people and their friends and families have the support she didn’t.
Now, with ACT’s support, Kaydi has opened her very own hub in Livingston – providing a space where her self-founded charity, Diversified, can help neurodiverse teens just like her.
Kaydi left school at 14, when she was unable to get the help she needed. Determined to make a difference, and with the encouragement of her mum, Kaydi decided to make sure other autistic and neurodiverse young people would have a different journey to her own.
Initially Kaydi sold fidget toys online – sensory toys that offer comfort to people with a range of neurodiverse conditions. From there Kaydi’s passion and impact quickly grew, leading her to create her very own non-profit and now fully fledged charity Diversified.
What started out as a platform to sell affordable sensory toys, has now grown to an organisation with online and face-to-face programmes to help teenagers and families to access support, and most recently a day service to help teens who aren’t able to attend school. In fact, Diversified has impacted more than 2,000 families and directly supported more than 150 neurodivergent young people since 2021.
Kaydi’s next target was to establish a physical home for Diversified, so that its services can be accessed by even more young people and their families.
After winning the ACT Bright Future Prize, Kaydi was finally in a position to secure a building in Livingston and transform it into a hub for all the people Diversified benefits to use. The new space has an activity room for the support programmes Kaydi has established and even a dedicated sensory room – a place of calm and comfort where young people can feel at ease.
We were over the moon to join the hub’s opening event, and to catch up with Kaydi on what it took to get there and where her – and Diversified’s – aspirations are reaching next…
Neurodiversity reflects the range of differences in the brain function and behaviour. This variation is common to everyone in the human population – we all think and behave differently.
Being neurodivergent is an umbrella term, which is used to describe people with variation in brain processes and behaviour which is not typical of most people. This includes a number of conditions from autism to dyslexia Tourette’s and many more.
Everyone has a unique way of thinking, learning and behaving. The need to celebrate, accept and accommodate these differences is increasingly being recognised, but there’s still so much more that can be done to support people that identify as neurodivergent - Kaydi being a prime example of doing just that!
Find out more about Kaydi’s charity by visiting diversified.org.uk.
Follow Diversified on socials – including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
Been inspired by Kaydi? The ACT Bright Future Prize will be back in towards the end of 2023.
In the meantime, visit the ACT website to find out more about all four of our 2022 winners and rediscover our 2021 winners, teen-trio Dawn to the Light.
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Discover more about the people, causes and communities we support by visiting the ACT website ardonaghtrust.org.
If you have any questions, get in touch with the ACT team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.