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Neurodivergent Friendly Cardiff

In support of Neurodiversity Celebration Week, Cardiff Council held an event called ‘Neurodivergent Friendly Cardiff’ to begin the conversation about how to make Cardiff a more neuro-inclusive city.  

 

In September of last year, two Cardiff Labour Councillors – Jamie Green and Sara Robinson –had the idea for Cardiff to become a neurodivergent-friendly city. This idea was strongly supported and became an official council policy.

 

At Mirus, we are keen to promote neurodiversity and it’s one of the main reasons we created the role of Mirus Representatives. A Mirus Representative is someone who represents the views of the people supported by us in each area. At the event, we spoke about some of the fantastic projects people supported by Mirus have been involved in, such as taking part in Pride Cymru’s largest parade in 2023.  

 

We also promoted our Cardiff social group, which is open to anyone living in Cardiff aged 18 or over with a learning disability. They meet twice a week and do activities such as going for walks, going for meals, and any other activities they would like to try. It was great to see how much attention our social group got, with many people keen to know more.  

 

The event catered for neurodivergent people in several ways. For example, there were sensory rooms with beanbags, soft lights and blankets for people to use if they felt overwhelmed. There were also headphones on the tables to be used if needed, as well as fidget toys to help keep people focused.  

 

One keynote speaker, singer/songwriter Kizzy Crawford, did a performance about how she was able to find harmony between music and her recent Autism diagnosis. She spoke about how important events like these are in supporting neurodiverse people, stating:

“There’s so many neurodivergent people out there who are struggling or struggling to be heard and events like this are so important for giving neurodivergent people a voice.”

 

 

This event was a positive step forward in the journey for Cardiff to become more inclusive. It was well attended, well received and allowed for conversations about where Cardiff currently is and how far it needs to go to improve and become more inclusive. A council spokesperson said: “It is only by working together that we can achieve a Neurodivergent Friendly Cardiff with the goal of increased awareness and empathy towards neurodivergent people across the city, and making Cardiff a place where they are supported to live well. 

“Neurodivergent Friendly Cardiff will work to ensure that as a city we develop an environment where neurodivergent people are celebrated, supported and of course included.” 

 

It is important that we recognise and celebrate neurodivergent people in Wales and work together to make the whole country neurodivergent-friendly. We are hopeful that Cardiff is just the start of this journey, and that it will extend to all regions in Wales – allowing Wales as a country to grow and become more neuro-inclusive. 

 

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