Neurodiversity is a term used to empower and promote the positive qualities possessed by those with a Neurological difference.
We discovered that George was neurodiverse during the pandemic. His habits, his quirks, his behaviours intensified in such a short space of time that we realised we needed support.
As a parent you only want the best for your child. You want them to thrive, to be happy & to be proud of all that they are. We knew that George needed more, and as parents we needed to learn, to grow, to adapt in order to meet those needs.
George is now on a Neurodevelopmental Assessment waiting list - but unfortunately the wait is over two years. We knew we couldn’t do anything to speed up this process but we could use the time to research, to educate ourselves, to connect with others who might be going through the same process.
It was then that we discovered The Umbrella Project, by the ADHD Foundation. The Umbrella project includes resources, staff training and an installation for Schools. This installation is made up of colourful umbrellas, to represent all the different minds we have here in the UK. Did you know that 1 in 5 of us are Neurodiverse? As soon as we came across this project we knew that it would be an amazing addition to George’s School & a wonderful platform to share his journey with others, to raise awareness and to open up conversations about Neurodiversity!
So how does this all connect to running? Well let me tell you… The Umbrella Project costs £350, so George decided he would fundraise for this amount by taking part in a virtual running challenge. George has slowly been building up his running by joining me on a few runs on and off in the past few months. In April he took part in his very first virtual challenge which we named ‘Dino Miles’, but it was not without difficulty.
George likes routine so we often have to run the same route, at the same time. A shift in our pattern can be upsetting, if it’s not pre-arranged so it’s important that we are consistent. George also suffers from sensory overload as part of his Neurodiversity. Smells, sounds, textures can be overwhelming at times. He loves to be indoors, but he knows how important it is to get outside. Our April challenge really enabled him to grow in confidence, to build his resilience & allow us to have a space where we could unwind and let go of any daily worries.
Because George was so proud of his achievement in April, he decided to challenge himself further & combine this with fundraising for The Umbrella Project & here we are! George is running 26 miles for the month of May. He is tackling this as a mile a day (with a few rest days in between).
The support has been AMAZING, we have surpassed our original target & have funded the purchase of The Umbrella Project for George’s School, Earlsdon Primary. We are now on a mission to continue that fundraising in the hope that we can ‘gift’ this project to more Schools in our local area of Coventry.
We are so unbelievably proud of our ROARSOME RUNNER GEORGE of his efforts to raise awareness for Neurodiversity. George wants those who are Neurodiverse to feel happy, to celebrate all that they are & to know that they aren’t alone!
We're wishing George all the best in his running and will be following his efforts!
If you want to follow George on his progress, head over to his RoarsomeGeorge Instagram account - @Roarsomerunnergeorge.
You can also view his fundraising page and donate at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/roarsomerunnergeorge