ADHD sufferers to help Indian orphans

A SUFFOLK charity is today launching an ambitious project which will see teams of young people with behavioural problems working with some of the world's most disadvantaged children.

A SUFFOLK charity is today launching an ambitious project which will see teams of young people with behavioural problems working with some of the world's most disadvantaged children.

The project, known as TEAM India, was the brainchild of Linda Sheppard, the director of the charity ADHD in Suffolk, after she visited the country on holiday earlier this year.

Mrs Sheppard, of Meadowlands, Kirton, said: “I flew out there with Sarah Nixon, one of the other members of the charity, and while we were there we went to visit some of the orphanages and drop-in centres for street children and got chatting to some of the staff.

“When we told them what we did they said it was very common for the children there to have emotional and behavioural issues because of all the trauma they have been through in their lives.

“We both decided it would be nice to come back and help out when our children have grown up, but when we started thinking about it we realised we could actually do something now.”

The aim of TEAM India is to give young people with behavioural problems the opportunity to gain overseas volunteering experience, something which they are often denied.

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The first youngsters to go out to India in November will be Jake Kennard, 19, of Felixstowe, and Georgina Longden, 21, of Claydon.

Jake said: “I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder last year and have been doing some volunteering for ADHD in Suffolk for several months, but when I applied to other charities to do some overseas work I got turned down straight away because of my condition.

“I'm really excited about this opportunity.”

The youngsters will be working with a drop-in centre in Goa run by a British charity called Children Walking Tall.

The idea is that a new group of young people will head out every six months. For the first trip they will be accompanied by ADHD in Suffolk staff and ADHD specialist Dr Angel Adams.

Mrs Sheppard said: “The idea is not to go out there and diagnose lots of people with ADHD because that wouldn't be helpful to anyone.

“We just want to be able to help these children work through some of their issues but, above all, help them have fun and give them a chance to have opportunities which they otherwise couldn't.”

n. What do you think of this chance? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblink: www.childrenwalking tall.com

The charity desperately need to raise funds to help with their trip and are holding a number of special events, starting with a fancy dress pub crawl in Felixstowe on Saturday.

The event will start at the Hand in Hand at 7.30pm and weave its way through the town.

A soul night has also been organised at the Curve Bar in Ipswich on August 11. The event will run from 7pm until late and tickets cost £5.

In September there will be a sponsored parachute jump.

The group are also looking for video cameras and a laptop so that they can create a video diary.

If you can help or would like more information on any of the events contact ADHD in Suffolk on 0870 881 0464.

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