Sarah was diagnosed with combined ADHD two months before her 52nd birthday. She thought that explained her life until at 56, she was diagnosed with severe dyspraxia, dyscalculia and sensory processing disorder.
Sarah is a qualified counsellor and coach and did much of her counselling in Young Offender units and adult male prisons.
She now dedicates her life to helping ADHD people who have found themselves in difficult situations. She has a particular passion for the homeless having volunteered for homeless charities for nearly 30 years including Crisis and The Big Issue.
She also worked for a short time in addiction and understands the desperation of people struggling with different addictions, especially those who don’t realise that the underlying problem is undiagnosed ADHD.
Her biggest passion is for Young Offenders. She loves nothing more than turning another tearaway teen away from the criminal justice system. She believes there is no obstacle too great to get over and now writes books to help parents of ADHD kids and teachers.
She is frequently to be found on radio, television and podcasts, raising ADHD awareness and thoroughly rubbishing the ‘naughty’ label ADHD continues to have.
The last time she remembers having time for any hobbies was about 20 years ago. All her time is now taken up helping people and nothing gives her more pleasure.
Daley has been an Officer in the Metropolitan Police since 2007. He was diagnosed with combined ADHD aged 36 and Dyspraxia aged 37.
He has a good understanding of the struggles that neurodiverse people, especially those with ADHD, face of a daily basis.
At work Daley set up and runs an ADHD support group, called The ADHD Alliance. The group hold regular support meetings, and strives to help anyone around any issue or query involving ADHD.
Daley wants to try and do more to help people with ADHD, especially those let down by the criminal justice system.
Daley lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife and two daughters. He is a passionate football fan, and enjoys collecting obscure football shirts from around the world. He has a degree in history and loves nothing more than a trip to a museum or historical site.
Alexandra is a coach, therapist and consultant specialising in neurodiversity, late diagnosis, employment matters, advocacy, staff management and leadership.
Following a late ADHD diagnosis, having been misdiagnosed until 37, Alexandra has since dedicated her life and career to raising awareness, changing the misinformation and supporting and advocating for Neurodivergent minds.
With a long and exciting career in Leadership spanning the housing, health, social care and criminal justice sectors, Alexandra brings a wealth of experience and expertise.
As an autistic and ADHD woman, Alexandra is proud to embrace and celebrate neurodiversity in all its forms. Drawing on her own experiences, Alexandra brings a unique perspective to her work, providing insight and knowledge to help individuals and organisations navigate and understand how to champion Neurodiversity in the workplace.
Through her work within the criminal justice system, Alexandra has seen firsthand the impact of misdiagnosis and the correlation between misdiagnosis and adolescents and young adults falling into the criminal justice system.
She has seen the appalling ways in which Neurodivergent individuals are so often treated and let down. These experiences have ignited her passion for challenging and changing the system which fails so many.
Alexandra is also a proud Mother to an incredible Autistic ADHD son, who continues to inspire her passion for promoting neurodiversity and supporting those who are neurodivergent.
Through her personal experiences, Alexandra understands the challenges and rewards of raising a neurodivergent child. But also the frustrations parents face navigating education systems. She is deeply committed to creating a more inclusive and supportive world for all individuals, regardless of their neurotype.
Alexandra is dedicated to making a positive impact on the world through her work in neurodiversity, as well as providing advocacy for neurodivergent individuals and their families.
With her wealth of experience and expertise, Alexandra is a true ally for those seeking to create positive change and promote greater understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity.
Jo is a vastly experienced Social Worker of 25+ years working with both children and adults. She specialises in children who have been fostered or adopted, care leavers and issues of employment and education. She frequently works with families who have often multiple and complex problems connected with ADHD – most of it undiagnosed and usually leading to families leading chaotic lifestyles involving addiction and offending behaviour.
Jo was late ADHD diagnosed herself, aged 51 around the same time as one of her two sons. Following this Jo began to increasingly realise how often ADHD featured in families where children are already in care or are at risk of going into care.
Jo also knows how often ‘looked after’ young people can find themselves stuck in the revolving door of PRU’s, Young Offender Institutes and prisons and only since her own diagnosis has she realised how many of these young people have ADHD.
This has led Jo to become hugely passionate about advocating for increased understanding and support for those already in the criminal system. And those at risk of offending.
She is also driven to work on preventing other young people experiencing similar issues which are often caused by a combination of untreated ADHD and addiction.
Sean’s father passed away when he was a young infant leaving a stressed mother to raise three young children without any support. Along with many other struggles in childhood, Sean scored a 9/10 on the Adverse Childhood Experiences test which he now realises affected the development of his brain growing up.
Without any support or guidance, his school years were very chaotic. Even though he was a smart kid, he was very disruptive and was constantly removed from class.
He would often become overwhelmed and upset and ask himself time and time again, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ a common question asked by people with ADHD.
When Sean left school, he first worked with young people as a Youth Worker in the evenings. During the day he was studying at college to become a Nursery Teacher, and that’s when Sean developed a real interest in psychology and how the mind works.
Sean became the first male Nursery Teacher in the UK and proved how important it was to have positive male role models in children’s nurseries, especially for young boys.
Throughout Sean’s colourful career, he has continued to learn and grow moving from one industry to another. He has been a DJ, owned nightclubs in the UK and overseas, worked in the city as the CEO of an award-winning company and has been featured in Forbes magazine as a Tech Entrepreneur.
Sean knows first-hand the challenges of living with undiagnosed ADHD from childhood through to his adult life. As the father of three children, Sean has a son diagnosed with ADHD along with other family members who are neurodiverse and issues such as depression, anxiety and OCD.
Sean knows that people with ADHD are in good company. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world are neurodivergent. He firmly believes their success is based on them embracing their super brain.
Having dealt with addiction when self-medicating his undiagnosed ADHD in the past, Sean is now a Coach specialising in addiction.
It’s only recently that he realises how many people he worked with in the past were almost definitely dealing with undiagnosed ADHD, leading to addiction, offending and other self-destructive behaviours.
He is now passionate about helping anybody who has gone down the wrong path to find their way back. He believes that with the right understanding, self-compassion, self-awareness and support there really is no obstacle anyone cannot overcome.
Sam is a reformed young offender, who only found out he was ADHD at the age of 29.
Unknowingly, Sam came from a family where ADHD was extremely common, but hadn’t been identified in any family members until Sam found out about his own Neurodiversity
He had struggled hugely at school, not being able to concentrate, struggling to focus, not really understanding what was being asked of him or what was being taught. He was constantly distracted, always the clown of the class, needed to be on the move and on the go all the time and began getting into trouble with the police from the age of 13.
By 29, he had racked up 500 arrests, 53 convictions and no less than 15 stays at Her Majesty’s pleasure. Typically all of this was connected to Sam self-medicating his undiagnosed yet severe ADHD.
Alcohol was his way of dealing with his numerous ADHD symptoms, but also the cause of his petty, but prolific, offending activities. He had an ASBO and most of his offending was either due to stealing alcohol, or his subsequent behaviour having taken it.
Finally receiving the correct ADHD diagnosis and medication was transformational for Sam. It saw the immediate end of all his offending behaviour and he hasn’t committed one crime since being diagnosed and medicated.
Sam is now passionate about early diagnosis in children to stop other teenagers having to lead the life he has led. Being constantly in and out of Young Offender Institutes and prisons in his teens and his 20s destroyed his self-esteem and self-worth and he 100% doesn’t want this for other young people.
Sam has stepped out of his comfort zone to appear on television and publicly for ADHD Liberty purely because he doesn’t want other ADHD teenagers to have the life he has had.
Now in his early 30s, Sam is busy working full time and is the very proud father of beautiful daughters.
He has no intention of going back to his old life. Instead he now spends his time helping ADHD young people know that with the right diagnosis and very probably medication, there is absolutely no need to go through the trauma of being locked up, wasting the best years of your life stuck behind bars. Purely because nobody has noticed you have any kind of Neurodiversity.
Sam is a huge supporter of early screening in schools, from aged 5 onwards and firmly believes if his ADHD and coexisting conditions had been picked up when he was in school, he would’ve had a very different life.
Kelly is a coach, pre-assessor, and consultant specialising in neuro diversity. Her personal experience is of having ADHD, ASD and OCD. She has witnessed firsthand the negative consequences that can result from incorrect diagnoses, both personally and within her own family.
Both of Kelly’s children have ASD, with her son also having ADHD, Landau Kleffner syndrome, dyslexia , dysgraphia, dyscalculia, and dyspraxia. Her daughter has anxiety and ASD.
Her strong love for her children motivates her to advocate for others neurodiverse children in educational settings, challenging harmful ‘labels’ often placed on them. She actively works towards children’s rights and has actively engages in negotiations with local authorities.
Currently, Kelly is pursuing a degree in social sciences, with a focus on forensic and criminal psychology. She is passionate about helping teenagers and young adults avoid the path towards criminal behaviour.
Kelly has witnessed so many young people taking this harmful trajectory due to misdiagnosis and lack of appropriate support within schools. She faced difficulties as a vulnerable teenager herself, making poor choices and engaging in recreational drug use. However, she overcame these challenges and is now dedicated to helping others. She believes that there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome.
Throughout her career, Kelly has provided support to numerous young individuals involved in legal proceedings for various offenses. She has undergone restorative justice training and uses her experience to support young people when needed. She holds an OU level 5 Family Law Diploma and continues to train in law to help those with Neurodiversity caught up in the legal system.
Michelle is a mum to three sons and one daughter, and has spent much of the last 20 years fighting what she sees as a desperately failing educational system.
Michelle herself struggled at school and was decades away from her own ADHD diagnosis as absolutely nobody recognised her own undiagnosed dyslexia, nor combined ADHD. She was finally diagnosed ADHD at the age of 44.
She was determined her children wouldn’t have to suffer the way she has and fought very hard for recognition of their difficulties from infant school onwards. She was absolutely sure each of them had educational learning challenges but was given literally no help – in fact quite the opposite. Her own parenting was called into question purely because she asked so many questions trying to get answers for her children. She became the target for teachers and schools passing the buck.
Nothing would put Michelle off though, and it wasn’t until each of her children were in their final year at school, that they received their ADHD, ASD and dyslexia diagnosis’ between them.
Michelle has made sure that her children feel empowered and can achieve anything they want in the world, whether their issues have been identified and diagnosed or not.
Her second son discovered a flare for cooking in his mid-teens, and despite being seen by the school as likely to fail at anything he tried, he secured a place at a highly prestigious catering college where he is loving every minute.
Michelle is passionate about all ADHD children and determined to change our current antiquated education system, which doesn’t cater for those with neurodiverse minds. She wants ADHD, ASD and all the comorbidities screening for in schools from the age of five so the correct support can be put in place as early as possible.
Colin discovered he might have ADHD when he was actually researching the condition on behalf of the clients he was working with.
To his absolute surprise, he then realised he did have the condition himself and was diagnosed with Combined ADHD in his mid-50s. This made complete sense of why he had always had such an instant rapport with those dealing with any kind of addiction and made him even more determined to help clients struggling to identify ADHD in themselves.
Colin has for many years been a leader in drug and alcohol support services -dedicated to engaging and motivating individuals to lead fulfilling lives.
Over the years, he has supported thousands of individuals through various recovery programmes and currently leads a team of 42 staff across multiple services, including contracts with two NHS Trusts, Buckinghamshire Council, the National Lottery, DWP, UK Government Funded, Buckinghamshire New University, Innovate UK, various Trusts, Foundations, supporters and community donations.
In May 2023, Oasis started a new collaboration with Buckinghamshire New University and the Knowledge Transfer Partnership, a two-year project aimed at generating unrestricted income for the charity.
Additionally, he has overseen a county-wide research project called ‘Listen, Learn, Adapt’ focusing on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities, in partnership with four other charity CEOs,with the aim to listen to, and learn from different communities, with a view to innovating or adapting provision to make services relevant and accessible.
He is influenced by his own life experiences, relating to trauma and ADHD, igniting his passion to make a positive difference to others. Colin left school with no qualifications, although gained a GCSE English age 26, a Social Work degree at 31, and a Master’s in Business at 46. His current role enables change to be achieved, offering drug and alcohol support, harm reduction, recovery, employment support, alongside early intervention and prevention, health and wellbeing.
Organisations Colin is involved at a senior level with include One Recovery Bucks, Counselling (substance misuse), Building Futures, Routes to Work (employment), Rough Sleepers Initiative (homelessness) Co-occurring partner at Safe Haven, (mental health crisis intervention) Social Prescribing, (health and wellbeing) Friends2Gether Intergenerational mentoring coaching project, Volunteer project, Media Launchpad the Oasis Art Box. (creativity and culture) ADHD Resilience Network – Newsletter, Podcast and Support groups.