Kaydi is autistic but wasn’t diagnosed until she was 13, by which time she was already unable to attend high school due to the school not understanding her needs. She subsequently suffered significant mental health difficulties and crippling isolation, but despite this and having no high school education, she was determined to use her negative experiences to create change for autistic and neurodivergent young people in her community.
Kaydi started out by selling sensory toys on her website with the aim of making them accessible for other neurodivergent people after they had helped her, but also to raise some funds for charity. The success of this lead to Kaydi then setting up her own community group.
Kaydi, now 16, through Diversified has supported hundreds of neurodivergent young people. The charity today provides a range of engaging activities and social opportunities where autistic and neurodivergent young people can thrive, have fun and engage in ways that work for them. They run social groups, outings and events, as well as wider family support for parents and carers to embrace neurodivergence and build better understanding and stronger relationships with their young people.
They also provide training and skill building opportunities for those 16+ to become youth mentors supporting other young people in their groups, and have a youth board which keeps young people at the core of the organisation to steer and shape how they operate and the services they provide.
Diversified is the only neurodivergent led charity in Scotland that supports autistic and neurodivergent young people. Through their lived experience they are in the best position to support, advocate for and empower neurodivergent young people to be authentically themselves.
Having run their groups through rented spaces, the charity have recently moved into their own dedicated space. This, combined with extra funding from the Matthew Good Foundation can help them to extend their reach, create more groups and activities, and buy additional supplies and equipment for their centre, particularly sensory equipment that young people rely on to regulate and feel safe and calm at groups.
There are so few opportunities in our community for these young people to engage and thrive. Our groups are a lifeline to many of them after prolonged periods of isolation. Receiving funding to support running our social groups where they can just be themselves would be absolutely amazing!
It was such a pleasure to meet Kaydi and her mum, Nicole, who has encouraged and supported Kaydi as she set up Diversified. Through Diversified, Kaydi aims to address the isolation that many neurodivergent young people and their families experience. The impact of positive peer support cannot be overstated, and through their projects, Diversified hopes to enable young people to go on to more positive futures. We were blown away by Kaydi’s determination and entrepreneurial approach to making a difference to other young people and their families and I have no doubt that Diversified will continue to grow and expand its reach in the future.
Latest Project Updates
Amplify Charity Film Released
After meeting Diversified when they were a Grants for Good finalist in 2022, we went on to help them produce a series of films to tell their story and promote advocacy in schools.
After becoming one of the top five finalists in the latest round of Grants for Good, Diversisfied was granted £2,500.