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Supporting neurodivergent young people in the community

This week (18–24 March), marks Neurodiversity Celebration Week – an opportunity to recognise the value, strength and challenges of neurodiversity. Around 15-20% of all people (that’s around 1 in 7 people!) are neurodivergent, meaning neurodiversity is a subject which likely connects all of us in some way.

We’re just around the corner from announcing the ACT Bright Future Prize 23/24 winners, but you might remember Kaydi, who was one of our winners in 2022. The first application to come in that year, Kaydi went on to win our Community category, securing £10,000 to invest in her self-founded neurodiversity charity, Diversified.

As a young teen, Kaydi left school after not being able to get the support she needed to thrive. Using her own experience of growing up with autism, Kaydi has since been determined that no other young person should struggle and went on to found Diversified aged just 14.

Kaydi outside the Diversified hub on the day its opening day!

Initially, Kaydi sold fidget toys online – sensory toys that offer comfort to people with a range of neurodivergence. From there Kaydi’s passion and impact quickly grew. 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 a day service to help teens who aren’t able to attend school.

Since, Diversified – and Kaydi – have gone on to support over 500 young neurodivergent people and 3,000 people including their families. The £10,000 Bright Future Prize funding was used by Kaydi to give her charity a physical home in Livingston, which has propelled Diversified to new heights, including being named Scottish Charity of the Year 2023 in the same week Kaydi celebrated her 17th birthday!

Earlier this month, we travelled to Scotland to catch up with Kaydi, to hear more about her experiences and insights, and how we can all play a part in increasing our own understanding of neurodiversity to make society a more inclusive place for everyone’s benefit.

Watch more from Kaydi by following ACT on  Instagram and Facebook. You can find ACT using @ardonaghCT.

Find out more about Diversified

Find out more about Kaydi’s charity by visiting the Diversified website diversified.org.uk

Follow Diversified on socials including FacebookInstagram and LinkedIn.

Bright Future Prize winners 23/24 announced very soon!

Watch out for the grand reveal of our Bright Future Prize winners for 23/24, which will be announced next week! Keep an eye out on the ACT website and our socials @ardonaghCT.

Learn more about all eight of our finalists for this year on the dedicated Bright Future Prize page on the ACT website.