Liverpool set for iconic art installation

A huge splash of colour is coming to Liverpool this summer, as 200 brightly coloured umbrellas are set to be suspended over a busy city centre street to raise awareness around Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism.

Devised and curated by Liverpool-based ADHD Foundation, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary as a charity, the Umbrella Project will transform Church Alley, which leads up to the Bluecoat, into a canopy of colour from.

The Umbrella Project has been made possible thanks to sponsorship from Equazen, makers of the scientifically developed omega-3 supplements, Liverpool City Council and the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, who has pledged to make Liverpool “a truly ADHD and autism-friendly city”.

He said: ““I wholeheartedly support ADHD Foundation’s Umbrella Project. Liverpool City Council is fully committed to supporting the education, mental health and employability of people with ADHD and autism. Raising awareness is fundamental in engaging conversations and promoting the general public’s understanding of ADHD.”

The individual umbrellas have  been personally signed by children from St Oswald’s primary school in Old Swan and across Merseyside, many of whom have ADHD, autism and other neurodevelopment conditions.

Dr Tony Lloyd, chief executive of ADHD Foundation, said: “The name for the project was actually chosen by the brilliant children who work with the foundation. ADHD and autism are ‘umbrella terms’ for a whole variety of neurodevelopment difficulties, and we want to highlight that fact and challenge the stigma of what can be ‘invisible’ disabilities.

The Umbrella Project is about reminding adults, be it parents, teachers or potential employees, that young people with ADHD and other conditions possess many gifts, talents and skills to offer their communities. Their condition is not a disabler, but an enabler.”

Local businesses are invited to get involved with the Umbrella Project by sponsoring an umbrella for £250, which will buy a whole programme of support for families. Individuals can sponsor £50 which will fund two therapy sessions for children affected.

The installation will run from the end of June through to August.