ADHD Foundation tackle the Great Wall of China

ADDING another bucket list challenge to their belt, Liverpool-based charity, ADHD Foundation, has taken on the Great Wall of China to raise awareness and funds for the foundation.

The 20-plus strong Great Wall of China 2015 team began their 10-day challenge last week. The team includes ADHD Foundation staff, patrons, volunteers and charity service users, including young people.

It follows last year, when a group of intrepid explorers from the ADHD Foundation, joined by former The Only Way is Essex personality, Kirk Norcross, climbed Machu Picchu in Peru and raised more than £15,000 for the charity.

Chief executive of ADHD Foundation, and one of the trekkers, Dr Tony Lloyd, said:

We wanted to do something equally amazing as last year, and what better way to raise funds and awareness for the foundation than by trekking along one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

We also are enormously grateful to the Great Wall of China 2015 team members who have signed up to complete this huge challenge and who, by doing so, are raising crucial awareness of the work that we do.

ADHD is the most prevalent neurodevelopmental condition in childhood, affecting eight per cent of the UK population which equates to approximately 500,000 school children.

However, evidence suggests that the number of children actually diagnosed is somewhere between only one and three per cent, meaning that there are many children who remain undiagnosed, unsupported and at a greater risk of alarming health and social outcomes. This is why the work we do at the ADHD Foundation is so important and it is vital to raise awareness of the condition and promote understanding.”

Speaking ahead of the trip, Tara McGuire, of Agilent Technologies, also joining the China trek team, said:

I joined Dr Lloyd and the ADHD team as part of the Peru adventure and we are so excited to be part of the 2015 trek team. ADHD is such a hidden issue in many young people and we have seen first hand the amazing work done with young people to give life skills and coping strategies.”

The Gubeikou-Jinshanling-Second Valley trek of the Great Wall of China, which is said to date back as early as the 7th century, is believed to measure 13,171 miles in total. An impossible feat in just 10 days, however the ADHD Foundation trek team will see both sides of the Great Wall, both the carefully restored wall in Mutianyu, as well as wild and authentic unrestored “Wild Wall” in Gubeikou, Jiankou and Jinshanling. By the end of the trek the travellers will be able to say they have climbed one of the wonders of the world having covered 26km in three days.

The funds raised will support the delivery of counseling and cognitive behavioral therapies for children and young people with ADHD, who suffer with anxiety and depression.

As part of the preparations, ADHD Foundation, in conjunction with the Confucius Institute at the University of Liverpool, provided Chinese lessons to all volunteers. This included basic language skills and cultural training to assist them on the trek.

Set up in 2007, the ADHD Foundation delivers a range of services designed to support children, young people and their families living with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and co-morbid conditions associated with ADHD such as depression, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Asperger’s Syndrome. The foundation comprises a multi-disciplinary team, working in close partnership with clinicians from Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital to provide a range of interventions – a unique service in the UK.

ADHD Foundation is hosting a conference in Liverpool in November for teachers and doctors to better understand neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD and Autism. The conference, titled, ‘Innovation and Service Transformation in ADHD and ASD in Mental Health & Education’, aims to bring into focus best practice in health, social care and teaching to make a difference in young lives.

For more details about ADHD Foundation, visit www.adhdfoundation.org.uk or call 0151 237 2661.