Northamptonshire's 999 workers join forces to celebrate their neurodiversity

Police and firefighters talk living and working with ADHD, autism and dyslexia in series of short films

By Kevin Nicholls
Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 8:42 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 8:44 am

Emergency services in Northamptonshire have got together to release a series of short films coinciding with Neurodiversity Celebration Week.

The three films feature neurodivergent police officers, firefighters and staff talking about their personal journeys, their observations, and the strengths their unique perspectives bring to the organisations and to the communities they serve.

Neurodiversity Week, which runs from March 21-27, is a worldwide initiative that challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about neurological differences.

Supt Sarah Johnson, firefighter Sophie Newnes and PCSO Kev Rowlatt talk about their experiences in the enlightening video made to coincide with Neurodiversity Awareness Week

It aims to transform how neurodivergent individuals are perceived and supported through education and employment. The Week is about raising awareness, increasing acceptance, and understanding of neurodiversity and celebrating neurodivergent people.

Neurodiversity is particularly connected to neurological and developmental conditions such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

The three films produced by the county's Police and Fire Service explore ADHD, autism and dyslexia and provide a real-life insight into how each condition brings different strengths and talents into the workforce.

The first video released on Monday (March 21) focuses on ADHD and features Superintendent Sarah Johnson, PCSO Kev Rowlatt and firefighter Sophie Newnes.

■ Click HERE to learn more about Neurodiversity Celebration Week and get you and your organisation involved.

Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold said: “The first challenge for any organisation lies in breaking the stigma that neurodiversity is a disability rather than it provides an opportunity to see things from difference perspectives.

"It’s important to me that both the Police Force and Fire Service value individual differences, nurturing strengths, abilities and talents to enable the individual to flourish and both organisations to benefit from diversity of thought and perspective.

“I am very grateful to those people who have participated in these films and hope that through them we are able to elevate discussions, raise awareness and develop a deeper understanding of neurodiversity in the workplace.

"In doing this, I believe we will be able to better respond to the challenges we face in protecting people and communities now and in the future.”

All three videos will be available to watch on the Northamptonshire Police YouTube channel.