The Donaldson Trust is aiming to become the national centre for neurodiversity in Scotland
A Scottish charity is aiming to revolutionise support for those battling long term conditions.
The Donaldson Trust has set out its ambition to become the national centre for neurodiversity in Scotland, supporting a wide range of people with often hidden neurological conditions such as Autism Spectrum, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Tourette’s and social anxiety.
Aiming to increase understanding and improve the experiences of people with neurodiversities, the trust, headquartered in Linlithgow, has set out its aims in a 10-year strategy which launches today (27 January) in conjunction with a new brand identity.
The trust has launched the strategy at a time when an estimated one in seven people in the UK, more than 15% of the population, are neurodivergent.
The Donaldson Trust is supporting people and organisations to understand that being neurodivergent means that an individual’s brain is wired differently and that they may think and learn in a different way to others. For some people, their neurodiversity can mean that they are better at some things than many other people and for others additional support or adjustments are required.
Established in 1850, the Donaldson Trust has provided much needed education and other support throughout its history. Today marks a new chapter for the trust which has developed over the years from a hospital for destitute children, into a school which previously supported deaf and hearing-impaired children and young people in Edinburgh. In more recent years, the trust has grown to provide educational services for children with complex additional support needs, and transitional support services for young people with neurodiversities.
The charity aims to work in collaboration with individuals, partnerships and businesses to develop services and increase knowledge and understanding of neurodiversity and improve the experiences of neurodivergent people across Scotland. It will also ensure that the voices of neurodivergent individuals are at the forefront of driving change in policy and practice through its work with individuals, partners and the Scottish Government, with the aim of ensuring neurodiversity is incorporated into educational policy and workplace practice.
Laura Watkins, chief executive of the Donaldson Trust, said: “Today marks an exciting new chapter in the Donaldson Trust history, as we set out our aims to support and advocate with and for people with neurodiversities at a national level.
“Our 10-year strategy ensures that the Trust extends its reach to a wider group of people across Scotland by providing a range of services that promote and support the needs of neurodivergent individuals.
“As Scotland’s leading charity for neurodiversity we will promote and develop good practice related to neurodiversity within education services, organisations and businesses. We will work in collaboration with partners to improve accessibility and inclusivity for neurodivergent people, and through our work with neurodivergent individuals will improve the representation of neurodiversity socially, politically and culturally.
“Through the implementation of our ambitious strategy we will continue to grow a community of partners and partnerships that support neurodiversity throughout Scotland. Our strategy will ensure the Donaldson Trust is known and respected as the national centre for neurodiversity in Scotland by 2030.”