Hidden Disabilities

Hidden Disabilities is a new charity in Hull that supports people with non-visible disabilities through social, wellness and personal development events and activities, and also by raising awareness. Hidden disabilities can include chronic illness, mental health conditions, neurodivergence, cognitive, sensory and movement disorders. These can severely impact daily life yet remain unnoticed, leading to scepticism and isolation. The charity organises inclusive events providing education and support to improve physical and mental health, whilst also promoting societal understanding.

June 2024

Harry's Hat Logo

Hidden Disabilities was founded August 2023 in Hull, by a mum with lived experience of her daughter’s chronic illness. She was motivated to set up the charity after witnessing the impact of a loved one becoming disabled, followed by a lack of understanding, awareness, and support within the community when a disability is also ‘hidden’.

A hidden disability, also known as a non-visible or invisible disability, is a condition that does not have outwardly observable signs. Examples include mental health conditions, cognitive, sensory, movement disorders, neurodivergence, and chronic illnesses like fibromyalgia.

A hidden disability can significantly impact a person’s daily life, yet go unnoticed by others, leading to scepticism and lack of understanding. This can lead to difficulties in securing employment, completing education, accessing public services, becoming independent, feeling part of society and having purpose. The invisibility of their condition means they frequently encounter disregard, disbelief, and criticism, which can exacerbate their challenges and contribute to social isolation and mental health issues.

In the UK, it’s estimated that 1 in 5 people have a disability, with 70-80% of these being hidden disabilities. This means that up to 11 million people in the UK have a disability that is not outwardly visible.

Hidden Disabilities provides support through social, wellness and personal development activities, resources, education, and practical advice to improve the physical and mental health of people with hidden disabilities in Hull and the East Riding. They organise inclusive events like book clubs, wellness workshops, and specialist talks, fostering a supportive network that reduces isolation.

They also promote understanding among the wider society, including employers and medical professionals.

Funds awarded from the John Good Group will be used to cover costs for activities and events, including venue hire, staff, and transport expenses.

We are overwhelmed that The John Good Group is supporting our charity.

Your grant will make such a difference to improving people’s quality of life.

Many live very restricted, lonely lives behind closed doors with little opportunities for social interaction and growth. So many feel misunderstood, forgotten and in despair.

Natalie Houfe

Founder, Hidden Disabilities

“Having met the charity’s founder, Natalie Houfe, a local businesswoman from Hull, I can see how determined she is to support individuals with hidden disabilities in the East Riding.

During our conversation, she shared her personal journey of her daughter’s diagnosis of PoTS, a condition that profoundly affected her life. Natalie recognised the lack of support, awareness and understanding, and she founded Hidden Disabilities to fill this gap.

I have no doubt that Hidden Disabilities will be a success. They have a strong board of trustees, are assembling a Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) of people with hidden disabilities to guide the charity’s work, and they’re also using their local business connections to offer workplace training programs that foster inclusivity.”

Michelle Taft

Executive Director, Matthew Good Foundation

Latest Project Updates

July 2024

Granted £5,000

After employees at the John Good Group voted for their favourite causes, Hidden Disabilities came first place, receiving a grant of £5,000.

June 2024

Grants for Good Finalist

Hidden Disabilities has become one of the top five finalists in the latest Grants for Good round, and will receive a grant between £2000 and £5000 after employees at the John Good Group have voted on their favourite causes.