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When staff come to join us at Sussex Partnership, we want them to feel fully supported. As a Trust, we offer staff who have or think they may have dyslexia, dyscalculia, or dyspraxia workplace needs assessments which allow them to self-refer (or be referred by their manager) to Occupational Health to determine if they may need extra support from assistive technology, such as spell checkers, text-to-speech and mind-mapping software. Additionally, we also aim to create spaces to meet with people who share similar experiences as them. One of these places is our Neurodivergent Staff Network.

A neurodivergent person is someone whose brain works differently from what society considers 'normal'. The term Neurodivergence covers a range of alternative thinking styles, such as dyslexia, developmental coordination disorder (dyspraxia), dyscalculia, autism, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It's estimated that around one in seven people in the UK are neurodivergent. In the right context, these different ways of thinking can offer a unique perspective and help us shape how we deliver care to our users.

The Neurodivergent Staff Network at the Trust exists to advocate, support and celebrate staff with different brains. The Network welcomes all staff, regardless of their neuro-type, and those questioning whether they might have a Neurodivergent condition. There is no pressure or expectation for attendees to share whether they identify as neurodivergent. They also welcome any allies of neurodivergent people; However, they ask that you take what you have learnt and help speak up for neurodivergent folk, even within the neurodivergent community, for others whose neurodivergence is different to the ones you have heard about.

The Network runs two different monthly 90-minute meetings on Zoom, so you can attend no matter where you are in the Partnership. The informal meetings are set up as a place for staff to get together and discuss different topics. They aim to be safe, neurodivergent affirmative spaces with no agenda other than providing mutual support. In most circumstances, confidentiality is assumed but relies upon participants protecting each other's information. The main staff network occurs on the third Friday of every month and is more centred around personal Neurodivergent experience. The Network also hosts The Parents and Carers of Neurodivergent Children on the first Friday of every month, where supporters can come together and gain support and advice for caring for their Neurodivergent child.


If you want to know more about the Network or find out more about what we offer staff, click here

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