Hello, and thank you for visiting our JustGiving page! My name is Kate Underwood, and I am the owner of Kate Underwood HR & Training.
Today, our team is reaching out to you for whatever you can afford to donate to me and some of the team walking 1 Million steps from 1st July 2023 to the 30th September 2023.
About More Education:
More Education was founded in 2019 with the aim of creating a specialist school for those young people who could not access mainstream education. As time passed, the Trustees realised that there was a need for more support within the wider local neurodivergent community. The launch of the Koala Community Hub, in June 2021, saw the creation of a true community 'one-stop shop' that will not only provide a learning environment for those children and young people who cannot cope in the mainstream but will also facilitate the empowerment and authentic connections for neurodivergent people in our community.
The School Launch:
In September, More Education will be opening a brand-new school, igniting a beacon of hope for countless children in our community. This initiative will serve as a nurturing and inclusive educational environment, catering to the diverse needs of its students. By combining innovative teaching methods with a supportive and caring atmosphere, the school will be a place where young minds can flourish, grow, and thrive.
The Koala Hub:
Koala's three focus areas respond to the key issues for Autisic and Neurodivergent people, living in society:
LACK OF SOCIAL CONNECTION: Research shows that authentic social connections can decrease the risk of mental health problems in individuals and increases the longevity of life by up to 50%*. However, many Autistic people/NDs report that there are often too many barriers to accessing social support (often communication and sensory-based).
POOR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH: ND people often struggle with their mental health which, in turn, affects executive functioning (EF) and can lead to burnout. EF impacts our ability to carry out simple tasks like eating healthily and exercising. 83% of ND individuals report issues with EF. The ability to create social connections, and access training on ND-friendly strategies, increases effective EF.
LACK OF ENABLING FACTORS: Autistic and neurodivergent people, and their families, are often not enabled to become more independent within their community. There remains a vast lack of coproduction to enable ND people to truly find their place in the world and navigate education, relationships, work and other societal expectations that others take for granted.
Koala tackles these 3 focus areas by:
ENABLING SOCIAL CONNECTION: Ensuring that our groups and training are consistently sensory-safe, demand-free and nurturing. This means that ND people are more likely to be able to engage with us. We work with people individually so that they can access our groups, many of whom are severely anxious. This may be as simple as meeting them at the front door or sending them a video explaining the small steps they can take to access a group.
IMPROVING MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH OUTCOMES: ND people having a safe and nurturing place that they can access will help to boost their mental health - this will then positively impact physical health. We have many new projects planned to include, navigating safe relationships, health and wellbeing, parent training, self-advocacy and engaging with other support (including medical and authorities).
ENABLING OUR COMMUNITY: Autistic and ND people are encouraged to build the hub the way THEY want it. We run regular polls and surveys regarding new resources and are also due to start an ‘ideas wall’ where people can leave anonymous post-it notes with suggestions for the groups. We also promote and facilitate our community to also become volunteers. A key aspect of Koala is allowing ND people to engage with other professionals in a space where they feel safe and supported.
More Education is our Charity of the Year 2023 and we wanted to do a challenge as a team to help support them.
Your Support Matters:
Now, more than ever, we need your support to make these initiatives a reality. Together, we can help build a brighter future for countless children, enabling them to break free from the cycle of disadvantage and unlock their full potential. Every donation, no matter how big or small, will make a meaningful difference in the lives of these children and their families.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my fundraising efforts for More Education. Your support, generosity, and belief in the power of education will truly make a lasting impact on the lives of those who need it most. Let's come together as a community and help create a world where every child has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.
Please donate today and be a part of this incredible journey towards a brighter future!