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Team wins bursary for developing school ADHD ‘sensory kit’


Five nursing teams have been announced as the recipients of bursaries for developing innovations, including a special kit to help schoolchildren with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Shire Health has revealed the winners of its 2015 nursing bursary awards for projects to improve care for ADHD patients.

“It is important to continually find practical and innovative ways to help our patients with ADHD”

Heather Caldwell

Heather Caldwell, who works at Glenfarg Health Centre in Glasgow, was awarded this years’ “gold” bursary to support the development of “sensory kits” for children with ADHD at both primary and secondary school.

Her team will use their bursary to create innovative sensory packs to help ADHD children in stimulating their imagination, modulate their sensory experience and ultimately strengthen their sensory skills.

Ms Caldwell said: “We are thrilled to win this bursary which will help us to bring a collaborative and new approach to ADHD management.

“I think it is important to continually find practical and innovative ways to help our patients with ADHD, learn and achieve. Hopefully our sensory kits will offer lots in this regard,” she said.

The other winning projects include a support group for the siblings of those affected by ADHD, a reading scheme to help children build coping and self-help skills, a training programme for parents to reduce parental stress and a support group for children and adolescents with ADHD.

“Nurses play a pivotal role in improving the accessibility and consistency of patient care”

Matthew Hickling

The awards judging panel included a community nurse specialist Jo Burgess, ADHD nurse specialist Lyndsey Forsyth and Carol Cartwright, a community ADHD nurse from Ayrshire and the 2014 gold award winner.

Matthew Hickling, medical director of Shire UK, said the bursary awards were intended to recognise the “remarkable dedication and commitment” of nurses working in ADHD.

“Nurses play a pivotal role in improving the accessibility and consistency of patient care, and these awards mean that anyone with an idea for improving care – be it on a local, regional or national level – now has an opportunity to make that idea a reality,” he said.


Gold Award

Heather Caldwell

Initiative: Sensory Kits

Children with ADHD experience difficulties processing sensory information, which is why Heather has proposed developing sensory kits to help them acquire and improve these skills. The bespoke packs will be tailored towards different ages (primary and secondary school), and will help modulate their sensory experiences and positively impact their arousal levels. By developing flexible content Heather and her team hope to meet the varied needs of children with ADHD, while the image-led packs will hold their attention and drive their imagination.

Silver Award

Sheilagh Murray

Initiative: ADHD Sibling Support Group

Siblings of those affected by ADHD are an often-neglected subgroup. Not only do they require help understanding ADHD and developing skills to cope with the strain it places on families, but the high heritability of the condition and the associated psychiatric comorbidities leave them at risk of ADHD or a mental health issue. Sheilagh and her team will use their bursary to convene a monthly discussion group for siblings to air any issues or problems. As well as support, understanding and inclusion, the group will provide siblings with coping and conflict resolution strategies, provide an avenue for the detection of mental health issues, and ultimately benefit the family as a whole.

Bronze Award

Anna Daniels

Initiative: H.A.S.H.T.A.G (Hull ADHD Supportive Hub for Teens, Adolescent Group)

Young people with ADHD often report difficulties and feelings of isolation, loneliness and depression as their condition can make it difficult for them to make and maintain friends. In addition they are often on a reduced course load at school, meaning they can miss out on developing essential life-skills. Anna’s bursary award will fund a support group for young people, delivered over eight weeks and covering skills such as working memory, turn-taking, empathy, modelling of appropriate social behaviour and building self-esteem. The group will also teach anger management and relaxation techniques.

Highly Commended

Odette Crews and Rachel Jones

Initiative: Parents Inc and Y-PINC

The Parents-Inc (children aged 0-12) and Y-PINC (aged 12-18) programmes of psycho-educational support and training have been shown to improve outcomes for parent and child. Odette and Rachel will use their bursary to support parents post-diagnosis, sharing early intervention strategies, increasing their level of knowledge and understanding of the condition, and providing peer-networking support. By empowering and enabling caregivers, they aim to reduce their sense of isolation and lessen the need for repeat referrals.


Karen Hall

Initiative: Untangled

Children with ADHD, Autism and Tourette’s syndrome often experience difficulties coping with issues such as anger, anxiety, mood dysregulation and depression. As part of Karen’s initiative, self-help resources – including print and e-format books, and DVDs – will be available at the local library for young people to access, either individually or via guided reading. The initiative aims to help those with ADHD build better coping and self-help skills, improve outcomes, encourage other interventions alongside medication, build partnerships between those with ADHD and healthcare professionals, and influence early intervention. 


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