PHOENIX ADHD Project which supports children and young people with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder aged eight to 20 has commenced its autumn programme of activities.
The project is funded by the BIG Lottery Empowering Young People Programme for four years from 1 May, 2011 to 31 April, 2015.
“I am so glad Phoenix after-schools has started again as it is fun but also keeps me on track,” said one participant.
ADHD, which affects 5% of young people up the age of 18, is the result of an abnormality of the frontal lobe of the brain which is responsible for concentration, self-control and thought processing with 5% still presenting with symptoms into adulthood.
Young people with ADHD have difficulty concentrating, are easily distracted, have difficulty retaining information, are usually hyperactive (but not always), struggle academically, find it difficult to cope within mainstream education, have poor social skills and low self-esteem.
A 14-year-old boy said: “Before I came to Phoenix I wasn’t really a very nice person – my aggression and anger overtook everything. Then I got introduced to Phoenix and over the year or so I have learned so much and would just like to thank Phoenix for what they have done to my life because I am a completely different person.”
If untreated ADHD often results in lower than expected academia, relationship breakdown sometimes resulting in early removal from the family home, addiction problems, isolation as a result of poor social skills, the development of serious mental health problems, domestic violence, criminal activity and unwanted pregnancies.
“Phoenix has helped me understand what ADHD is and helped me to control my behaviour and anger,” remarked a nine-year-old boy with the condition.
The project runs a range of innovative and proactive programmes tailored to suit the particular need and age of the group and also provides support for parents/carers and to schools.
Programmes for young people include Why Try Programme, Social Skills Programme, Personal Development Programmes, Club Phoenix, Phoenix Youth and Transition Club. Other programmes and support include Parenting ADHD Sessions, Teacher Training on ADHD Awareness and Behavioural Management, Home/School Support and Drop in Advice and Information Service.
From August 2008 when the project commenced until September 2011, 120 young people referred to the project, 99% positive evaluations reporting, improved academia, improved self-esteem, improved social skills, improved family relationships and improved school/family relationships.
Anyone wanting information about the project can contact the office at 1 Ballycastle Road, Coleraine, BT52 2DY, or by telephone on 028 7000 2050, or email firstname.lastname@example.org