The Changing Lives Initiative is a community-based project creating a better understanding of ADHD and providing an intervention programme for families with children (aged 3-7) experiencing behaviours consistent with ADHD.
The initiative was funded between 2017-2021 through the European Union’s INTERREG VA Programme, as a multi-jurisdictional project comprising delivery partners in the North of Ireland (Colin Neighbourhood Partnership), the South of Ireland (the Genesis Project), and Scotland (NHS Highland). Two other partners provided overall coordination and training (Archways) and research (Dundalk Institute of Technology).
The Changing Lives Initiative has succeeded in significantly reducing the impact of ADHD on the lives and functioning of children and families. During the period between 2017-2021, it worked with over 2,000 families across the North (primarily throughout the Belfast and Lisburn areas), the South (Counties Louth and Monaghan), and western Scotland (Argyll & Bute). It also provided training about ADHD to well over 750 education and health sector professionals.
The initiative is unfortunately not currently operational since the ending of EU funding in 2021, but the partnership remains intact and is in discussions with the Department of Education about developing a regional model right across the North of Ireland that can tackle the growing waiting lists for children waiting for assessment, and for supports for them and their families to be put in place.
In the meantime, you may find it helpful to access the Changing Lives app (hyperlink to registration portal) to help families understand what ADHD is and provide practical strategies and tools for parents to use with their children. The App is particularly relevant for parents who have concerns about their child’s behaviour but are not yet sure if their child may have ADHD. The App is also extremely useful for professionals working with children, in helping them better understand ADHD and how they might support children who have issues with inattention, hyperactivity, or impulsivity.
On 13 April 2021 The Changing Lives Initiative project partners held an online celebration of the project to launch the final project report. A summary report on the initiative’s outcomes, process, and economic evaluations is available here, along with the draft long report with the full findings:
Draft Long Report