The End of an Era: My Goodbye to ADHD Aware

Hello everyone,

As I embark on new ventures, I am reflecting on the exceptional journey I’ve been a part of at ADHD Aware. With this blog post, I want to announce my departure from ADHD Aware – a journey that has spanned 12 incredible years, starting with four years at the Brighton ADHD support group and culminating in eight fruitful years with ADHD Aware, which I had the privilege of founding in 2015.

This milestone is marked with mixed emotions. While it’s the end of an era for me, it’s also a time to celebrate the organisation’s growth, reflect on our shared memories, and acknowledge the extraordinary people who have been part of this journey.

The Inception

Navigating my path to an ADHD diagnosis at 26 was a labyrinthine journey, filled with misdiagnoses and encounters with various NHS psychiatrists. Realising that others might be facing the same obstacles, I felt compelled to start a support group. Upon visiting the AADDUK forum, I was pleasantly surprised to find a post by Karen Tipping, who shared the same vision. Our synergy led to the birth of an informal group in 2011, which met at the Caxton Arms pub. A heartfelt thank you goes out to the original organisers, Karen Tipping and Francesca Townsend. Without your passion, the group would have remained a mere idea.

An unforgettable memory from our second meeting was the collective identification of the positive aspects of ADHD, a deeply emotional moment that brought many to tears. These thoughts were transformed into the ADHD Sun poster by Francesca, a beacon of hope for our community that continues to inspire us.

The Evolution into ADHD Aware

As our support group flourished, the vision for something more became clear. Yet, there was a catch. We needed funding, but that required an organisational bank account and a constitution. Just when we were grappling with these daunting administrative tasks, Linda Saltwell from the TDC charity stepped in to the rescue. Linda’s guidance through numerous meetings resulted in the foundation of ADHD Aware in 2015. Linda’s contribution didn’t stop there – she graciously volunteered as our secretary, providing her organisational expertise which was pivotal to our growth. Over time, Linda would progressively assume greater responsibilities, eventually ascending to the position of board chair.

Our first AGM in 2015 was a significant milestone, marking our journey from an informal group to an official organisation.

I’d like to extend my deepest gratitude to Linda for her unwavering commitment to the neurodiverse cause and her tireless support over the years. My appreciation also extends to Tony Larkin, one of our founding trustees, whose empathy and support have been invaluable.

Navigating Through The Pandemic And Beyond

The pandemic ushered in a challenging phase, but it also led to a significant expansion of ADHD Aware. Our swift transition to online platforms resulted in a significant increase in our user base. We were able to reach and assist many more individuals, something that would not have been possible without everyone’s adaptability and resilience. During the pandemic’s hardships, this community was my anchor, providing stability during the lockdowns.

Our efforts were further rewarded in 2020 when ADHD Aware was officially granted charity status. This recognition opened the door to more grants and resources, propelling the organisation from strength to strength.

I want to express my gratitude to the trustees – and the hardworking volunteers. The commitment you’ve shown is truly inspiring. Your achievements are a testament to the power of a supportive and understanding work culture.

Appreciation For Our Neurodiverse Community

Lastly, I want to thank our neurodiverse users, who’ve enriched the organisation with their participation and support. Their consistent presence at our meetings and their invaluable contribution to our community have been a cornerstone of my sustained commitment to this cause. The honesty, humour, and vibrancy of the individuals I’ve met have inspired me, and their resilience and creativity have been a constant source of motivation.

I wish everyone at ADHD Aware continued success in your mission to support the Neurodiverse community.

Long live ADHD Aware!