The Umbrella Gang tells the story of five young people and their pets – all of whom are neurodiverse – and their journey from first learning to understand their learning differences, to overcoming a struggle and emerging at the end triumphant, understanding and managing their new-found superpowers.
Based on the ADHD Foundation’s real-life group of inspirational young ambassadors, The Adventures of the Umbrella Gang is also inspired by the charity’s successful Umbrella Project, an art installation which has seen brightly-coloured umbrellas suspended in Liverpool city centre, BBC North at MediaCityUK, Salford, Heathrow’s Terminal 5 and schools across the UK, part of a campaign to raise awareness about neurodiversity and celebrate cognitive differences.
The comic, which has been produced in collaboration with Dekko Comics, with support from Big Lottery and the BFI, launched at the ADHD Foundation’s Annual Conference at ACC Liverpool, and available to school children across the country from aged six to 12-year-olds.
Dr Tony Lloyd, CEO of the ADHD Foundation said:
“Based on our incredible young ambassadors, each with a different and equally inspirational story to tell, the hope is that through this comic we can break down some of the negative misconceptions that are out there about neurodiversity, and through the medium of illustration and words, reassure those children coming to terms with their neurodiversity that everything will be ok. It’s not a disability, it is a superpower, that with the right support can be a truly amazing thing.
“We believe this concept is the perfect ensemble for the neurodiversity ethos – conveyed in a way that is fun, informative and accessible to a younger age group – and hopefully, there will be other adventures to follow in the future so watch this space!”
Siena Castellon (17), neurodiversity advocate and inspiration for one of the comic’s characters, said:
“I’m thrilled to be featured in the Umbrella Gang comic. I hope the characters help young neurodivergent children who may be struggling to come to terms with being different, to embrace who they are and to see their unique strengths, talents and abilities as a “superpower”. I am proud to be working with the ADHD Foundation on projects that raise awareness and acceptance of neurodiversity.”
The comic is based on the ADHD Foundation’s Neurodiversity Young Ambassadors: