Enhanced dedicated one-to-one support service
A neurodiversity charity is to launch a three-year specialist service for children and young people in Lanarkshire living with the challenges of neurodiversity.
Edinburgh-based Salvesen Mindroom Centre has been awarded £109,343 from The National Lottery Community Fund, made possible by National Lottery players, to deliver a dedicated one-to-one support service for children and young people who have neurodevelopmental conditions and neurodiverse families in North and South Lanarkshire.
The initiative will be led by two highly-skilled outreach specialists within the communities and address issues including problems surrounding the assessment and diagnosis of neurodevelopment conditions; securing appropriate help at school or in further and higher education; and dealing with complex correspondence and multiple agencies.
Support will be tailored to individuals and families and is aimed at achieving positive changes on a practical level and, through advocacy, ensuring the voices of children and young people are heard.
Between 15 and 20% of the population are estimated to be neurodivergent and Mindroom has witnessed a 137% rise in people using their services in Lanarkshire since 2018.
Chief Executive Officer Alan Thornburrow says: “We have seen at first hand the difference that receiving appropriate resources can make to neurodivergent children, young people and neurodiverse families in crisis. Over a number of years, we have steadily increased our caseload in Lanarkshire in response to a growing demand for our services and we’ve had some amazing feedback from clients whose lives have improved.
“This award from the National Lottery will help us ensure that many more people are helped and their lives transformed. We put the needs of the client at the very heart of our rights-based approach and aim to empower individuals, families and carers to become more confident and active participants in whatever they choose to do.
“We already have valuable, established relationships with a range of agencies and organisations in Lanarkshire including the NHS, Love Autism, schools and social work departments. This longer-term funding will enable us to build on these vital connections and increase our provision so that more neurodivergent children and young people and neurodiverse families can receive personalised help and benefit from opportunities for enhanced support.”
The National Lottery Community Fund, Scotland Chair, Kate Still: said: “National Lottery funding can make amazing things happen in local communities across the country. This project delivered by The Salvesen Mindroom Centre (SMC), is a great example of community activity in action, showing just what can be achieved when people come together for a common cause or to help others.
“National Lottery players can be proud to know that the money they raise is helping to support this vital work which is making a real difference to so many.”
The Lanarkshire initiative, funded under the National Lottery’s Improving Lives scheme, will run from September 1 this year to the end of August 2026.