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Neurodiversity Celebration Week Roundup!

Yesterday marked the end of Neurodiversity Celebration Week and the Dugdale Nutrition Wellbeing Team have been busy raising awareness to our employees. We have shared daily information and surprising statistics with our colleagues to help give them a better understanding of neurodiversity and how common neurodiverse conditions are within our workplace, in the UK and around the world. We also focused our monthly 'Wellbeing Walkaround' at both sites on this important topic and asked our teams "What does Neurodiversity mean to you?"


Here is a roundup video of what we've been up to this week:



So how does this apply to farming and agriculture?

You may be wondering how this applies to Dugdale Nutrition, to farming and to the agricultural industry. We found a very interesting Farmers Guardian article with Nuffield Scholars Liz Haines (a dairy farmer) and Dan Smith (manager of Jamie's Farm), which highlights why widening the net to include more neurodiverse people could help push the boundaries, move the industry forward and gain fresh ideas.


Liz Haines and Dan Smith, with sponsorship and support from McDonald's, are pioneering projects to integrate neurodiversity and regenerative farming, aiming to revolutionize agriculture. Drawing inspiration from Dr. Temple Grandin's profound impact on animal handling due to her autism, Haines argues for the untapped potential within neurodiverse minds to offer fresh perspectives and innovative solutions to age-old farming challenges.


Click the image below to read the full article.



Dugdale Nutrition Neurodiversity Stories

During the roundup video, you have heard from some of our neurodiverse employees and from some who have someone close to them with a neurodiverse condition. You can read more about them and their experiences below...


Steven Marsden, Mill Cleaner - ASD
















I was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, at the age of 5. I have worked at Dugdale Nutrition for several years and I joined the Wellbeing Team as it's something i'm passionate about and with a group of like-minded colleagues.


When we decided to focus on Neurodiversity Celebration Week it was something I really wanted to get involved with and share my knowledge and experiences.


Doing the walkaround and speaking to people from all departments at our Clitheroe site felt like a breath of fresh air and a little amusing that not everyone understands what ASD or ADHD and other spectrum conditions are, especially others with a higher status.


I've shared my story because I feel it's important that people know how to treat those with neurodiverse conditions, such as Autism. There are hundreds of videos about Autism online, but I think this one highlights what a day in the life of someone with ASD can face, especially a child, who already isn't mature enough to express their feelings clearly. In this short animated film, Maria uses her art to mask her feelings and cope with her school life, which is a highly stressful environment for her."




Hannah Dugdale, Marketing Director - ADHD
















"My ADHD journey didn’t begin until I was 38 years old and I visited the doctor to discuss my unmanageable levels of stress and anxiety. I wasn’t aware that 75% of adults with ADHD weren’t diagnosed as a child, and I was totally ignorant to the condition. I didn’t fit the stereotypical criteria for someone with ADHD, I wasn’t a naughty child and I did well at school.


I’ve seen the iceberg analogy used many times in business and also in mental health, and I feel it’s a great way to demonstrate my personal experience living with ADHD without being aware. My ADHD iceberg shows what you may see on the surface and also how I’ve been described before, yet highlights the struggles I’ve had internally all of my life.



By sharing my story, I hope that it may help someone who is experiencing the same as me, be that within our company or externally. It also highlights why you shouldn’t take someone on face value. I’ve masked my symptoms throughout my entire life in order to feel like I fit in and to be perceived as normal or successful - it’s been draining. Now I feel proud that I’ve achieved what I have despite that, I'm finally proud of myself and who I am."



Dan Brown, Transport Manager - Son has Dyspraxia
















"I joined the Wellbeing Team at Dugdale Nutrition because I care about our people and wanted to have input into areas where we can help them. Since joining, I feel it has increased my knowledge around important mental and physical health conditions.


Through our learning about Neurodiversity and associated conditions, I feel this has helped me to help my son on his Dyspraxia journey. I am better equipped to give him the understanding and support he needs.


The NHS website describes Dyspraxia as developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), also known as dyspraxia, a condition affecting physical co-ordination. It causes a child to perform less well than expected in daily activities for their age, and appear to move clumsily.


I decided to share my story to help reassure parents or relatives who are affected by a child or family member living with a neurological condition. As they say knowledge is power. Through Neurodiversity Celebration Week we have directed people to useful resources about neurodiverse conditions which will hopefully raise awareness, reduce stigma and help those who need it."


Wellbeing is a core value of Dugdale Nutrition...

At Dugdale Nutrition, we are continuously striving to become more inclusive at all levels, and wellbeing is a core value within our business strategy. The work of the Wellbeing Team highlights important issues around mental and physical health to our team each month.


Neurodiversity Celebration Week has been a great way to draw attention to the many different neurodiverse conditions and highlight the positives that being neurodiverse can bring to our business, to farming and to the agricultural industry. Whilst it's important we celebrate people's differences, it's also essential that we are mindful and educate ourselves on the challenges being neurodiverse can bring on a daily basis.


To learn more please visit some of the following websites:


National Autistic Society - https://www.autism.org.uk/ 

British Dyslexia Association - https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/

Neurodiversity Celebration Week - https://www.neurodiversityweek.com/resource-hub 

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