New neurodiversity group for all

A new group has been established to bring people together, support each other and celebrate neurodiversity.

Being neurodivergent describes the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in different ways; there is no one “right” way of thinking, learning, and behaving, and differences are not viewed as deficits. Common conditions including ADHD and autism are part of this.

Taking place every first Thursday of the month, the group discuss key topics and issues, share their experiences, and pass on knowledge of available support. Everyone including carers, children and parents are invited.

Key speakers often attend from support services including North Lincolnshire Council, Ongo’s mental health and employment support team and Andy’s Man Club.

Mark Batunas, Maintenance Supervisor here at Ongo, set up the group after noticing a lack of support available.

He commented: “Both of my sons are autistic so I know first hand the battles we go through as parents. Even getting a diagnosis is difficult, and unfortunately once you’ve overcome that hurdle you then have to fight to get the correct support in place.

“I wanted to create this group so that people feel less alone and hopefully we can all support each other and pass on the things we’ve learnt along the way to make someone elses journey less difficult.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to the team at The Arc for allowing us to use their space for free and to everyone who turns up to the group every month.

“Everyone is welcome so please come along and say hello, we’re all very friendly and welcoming.”

Phili Smith who attends the group said: “I come here because there’s nothing else similar where we can get together and support each other and I’m a real advocate for that.

“Being autistic or caring for someone with it can be very lonely, you sometimes avoid activities and lose friendships, it feels like there’s no break. That’s why safe spaces like this where you can just be yourself are so important.”

The next group will take place on Thursday 1 February and is open to all.

For all of the latest updates on the support group or to find out more, go to: