Iconic ADHD Umbrella Project returns to Liverpool for the summer

The umbrellas above Church Alley, Liverpool Credit: ADHD Foundation

200 multi-coloured umbrellas have been suspended high above a Liverpool city centre to raise awareness and understanding of ADHD and other neurodiverse conditions.

After a hiatus last year due to the pandemic, the ADHD Foundation Neurodiversity Charity’s famous Umbrella Project has returned to Liverpool for the fourth year.

Back by popular demand, Church Alley (in front of the Bluecoat) is glowing with bright reds, blues, greens, yellows, and oranges thanks to a canopy of vibrant, uplifting, suspended umbrellas.

Schools across the Liverpool City Region have also signed up to create their own mini umbrella displays, highlighting neurodiversity in children and young people and educational settings. Participating schools include: St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School, Alsop High School, Whitefield Primary School, St Anne’s Stanley Primary School, Lister Lane Primary School and Great Sankey High School.

Children celebrate neurodiversity in a colourful rain-soaked street Credit: ADHD Foundation

Invented by Liverpool-based ADHD Foundation - the largest ‘user-led’ ADHD agency in Europe - the umbrella installation aims to flip the narrative of neurodiverse individuals, and instead, recognise the strengths and ability of those with cognitive differences.

ADHD, autism, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia and dyspraxia all sit under the "umbrella" term of neurodiversity - hence the idea for Umbrella Project was born.

Having launched in Liverpool in 2017, the umbrella project has achieved global recognition with further displays in Heathrow Airport and BBC’s Media City. More installations are set to launch throughout July in Switzerland, Gloucestershire and in over fifty national participating schools.

Dr Tony Lloyd, Chief Executive of ADHD Foundation, said: "The word ‘neurodiversity’ is an umbrella term for the many neurodiverse conditions that 1 in 5 people live with, hence how the idea for the Umbrella Project was born. When we first launched this small project back in 2017, we were unprepared for the massive impact it was going to have."

Liverpool aims to be a leading, neurodiverse-friendly city which supports and champions those who think differently.

The project will remain in place until late September 2021.