Gosport Will Be Ablaze with Colour as 600 College Students and Staff Walk to Highlight Neurodiversity

More than 600 students and staff from St Vincent College will dress up in dazzling colours to march through Gosport to mark Neurodiversity Celebration Week and raise money for autism and ADHD charity Marvels and Meltdowns.

The college’s first ever Colour Walk will set off from its campus in Mill Lane at 11.20am on March 20 and journey via the Millennium Bridge, through the centre of Gosport and back to the college. Everyone taking part is being encouraged to do colourful and eye-catching clothes and make-up and many will be carrying placards and posters with positive messages about neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week, which runs from March 18 to 24, is a worldwide initiative involving schools, colleges and universities that challenges peoples’ stereotypes and misconceptions about those with neurological differences and aims to change how they are perceived.

Neurodiversity celebrates the natural variations in how people think and learn, promoting acceptance of diverse minds, including those with autism, ADHD and other neurological differences.

Principal Andy Grant said he was delighted the college, whose School of Personalised Learning has been rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted inspectors for its work with higher needs students, is taking part.

“It is going to be a very public statement about the value we place on every student, no matter what their background or ability, here at St Vincent,” he said. “I’m looking forward to what will be a spectacular occasion, both visually and emotionally, and I’m urging everyone in Gosport to support us and the fantastic charity we will be raising money for.”

Marvels and Meltdowns, founded in 2014, supports parents of children diagnosed with ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Condition from its base at The Phoenix Centre. It holds weekly meetings and play sessions as well as providing one-to-one support and a Facebook support and information group.

The students, who will be collecting donations en route and are being sponsored, will stop at ‘colour stations’ and collect stamps during the hour-long walk to prove they have completed the challenge.

The college, which has permission from Gosport Borough Council for the walk, will provide marshals and first aid throughout the route. Mr Grant said the walk will celebrate inclusivity as well as Parkwalking, which is one of the college’s student enrichment activities.

“Staff and students do a walk each week around Gosport, which helps form relationships, is beneficial to good health and mental health and getting to know our neighbourhood,” he said. “It’s also a very inclusive activity and we want to highlight that.”

The walk route will begin at St Vincent College and takes in Forton Road, Mill Lane, St Vincent Road, public footpaths through Grove Road Recreation Ground and around Priddy’s Hard, Heritage Way, Millennium Bridge, Weevil Lane back to the college via Forton Road.

To donate to the walk go to justgiving.com and search for Colourwalk for Marvels and Meltdowns (www.justgiving.com/page/colourwalk-1709129660079 ) and to find out more about the college go to stvincent.ac.uk. To find out more about Marvels and Meltdowns go to marvelsandmeltdowns.org.uk.

Pictured: Staff and students with placards and posters they’ll be carrying when 600 students take part in a Colour Walk to mark Neurodiversity Celebration Week on March 20
Pictured: Staff and students with placards and posters they’ll be carrying when 600 students take part in a Colour Walk to mark Neurodiversity Celebration Week on March 20