Businesses and schools are being urged to get involved with colourful ‘Umbrella installations’ which are set to arrive in Aberdeen this June, acting as a major city centre attraction over the summer.
Coming to Scotland for the first time following huge success in other UK locations since 2017, the displays aim to raise awareness of and to celebrate the ‘umbrella’ term of neurodiversity, including ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia.
City centre BID Aberdeen Inspired is working with the ADHD Foundation on the three-year programme which will see the creation of temporary installations featuring multi-coloured umbrellas suspended across city centre streets starting this summer.
Companies wishing to translate Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) agendas into action, have a final chance to provide valuable support through charitable giving to help bring these installations to Aberdeen. The project has a direct link to community, diversity, equality and inclusion, and delivers direct results into the local community.
Roulè Wood, Business Engagement Manager at Aberdeen Inspired said “There are still some exciting opportunities for businesses to get involved and support the project alongside outreach work in local schools and community groups.
“We are urging businesses interested in participating and contributing to this exciting national celebration of neurodiversity to reach out to us. Likewise, schools are being encouraged to join the growing list of city education spots that have signed up to create their own unique mini-installations.
“Mile-End, Brimmond, Broomhill, The Gordon Schools, Kaimhill, Airyhall, St Machar Academy, Ellon, and Kellands Schools have all agreed to create an uplifting mini-installation and raise awareness of neurodevelopmental conditions like dyslexia, ADHD, autism etc, that affect 1 in 5 people from all walks of life.
“In other cities schools have invited neurodiverse children to write their ‘super powers’ onto the umbrellas. Such powerful messaging as this is just one example of the positive impact the project will have on the city and all who join in.”
Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available from as little as £1500 and for £450 companies can receive a pack of 25 brightly coloured umbrellas to create their own displays in their premises to coincide with the city installations. Schools can have a mini-installation for £350 and will also receive assembly resources and access to a neurodiversity training webinar for teachers.
Roulè continued “All our partners must be in place by 25 March, so time is running out to get involved. We are delighted that a number of fantastic local organisations including the Sandman Signature Hotel, Aberdeen Performing Arts and TMM Recruitment have all registered to host mini- installations. I’m certain there are even more businesses and schools in the city that will see the value of contributing towards bringing the Umbrella Project to Aberdeen and helping to raise awareness of the ADHD Foundation and its work.”
Commenting on registering to host a mini-installation, Amanda McCulloch, Chief Executive at Thorpe Molloy McCulloch Recruitment said “Difference and diversity should be celebrated and we love this initiative because it does exactly that and in a visual way which is clever and joyful. The umbrella project also reframes the narrative around neurodiversity and recognises the strengths and abilities of people with cognitive differences.
“We live in a neurodiverse world. 1 in 5 people are neurodivergent so in all our lives, families, friends and places of work we’re next to someone who sees things differently to ourselves and that makes life much more interesting.
“Diversity in the workplace is now recognised as a good thing, significantly contributing to innovation and creative problem solving. As recruiters, we’re delighted to be part of an initiative which champions individuality, inclusion, diversity and the enabling abilities and skills of neurodivergent people.”
Sponsorship benefits include branding on the umbrellas, local and national recognition in campaign press and free access to training resources for staff.
A host of other cities, including Cardiff, London, Liverpool, Brighton, Glasgow and Edinburgh will also be hosting umbrella installations this year.
Aberdeen Inspired has been awarded a grant of £12,500 towards the project – roughly the cost of one installation – through the Scottish Government’s Scotland Loves Local Fund II which aims to encourage people to think local first and support businesses and enterprises in their community.
Businesses and schools interested in finding out more should contact email@example.com.