ADHD Awareness Month


As October is ADHD awareness month and this is my first blog, I thought the subject should be one that is very close to my heart. My daughter at the ripe old age of 19 has just being diagnosed as having ADHD. It isn’t something that we ever considered and it isn’t something that we knew anything at all about.

We knew that Flo was “naughty” we knew that she was challenging, we knew that she took risks with her health and wellbeing. She was permanently in trouble at school and her attendance was sporadic to say the least. She was unhappy anxious and underachieving yet nobody throughout school or throughout her engagement with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) identified any underlying cause for her behaviour. She was terrible to live with.

I love my daughter, of course I do, and seeing her make ridiculous choices that were preventing her from being safe, happy and achieving her potential was hard going. This went on from first year primary school right through high school and into college. We had no clue why our daughter was so very different to absolutely everybody we had ever met.

Flo herself was looking for answers. She wasn’t satisfied that how she experienced the world was right. She saw her friends organising their lives very differently to her. She saw that they weren’t permanently in conflict and failing to complete work on time or get to college when expected.

Mainly she thought to herself  “ I’m not growing out of this, and if I don’t get answers I’m not going to be able to do the things I want to do.” She read around personality disorders and educated herself.

She said to me, “Mum do you think I’ve got ADHD?” I said no, because I knew nothing at all about it. It’s interesting how often we close down things we don’t understand. I asked a teacher friend of ours because I thought she’d have a clue, and she said “ No, she hasn’t got ADHD”. I believed her because she is a teacher and works with kids in all kinds of circumstances every day.  But she was wrong.

My little girl, has now been assessed by a specialist Psychiatrist and Psychologist, and yes in fact she does have severe ADHD and is now in a position to understand herself, her experience and move forward with the tools she needs to live her life her way.  

It turns out that girls are often overlooked in terms of ADHD and a lot more research and awareness is needed. Not every child, adolescent or adult who can’t organise a party in a brewery or isn’t keen on school has ADHD but if you are concerned about your child and want to find out more (as I wish I had) there is a lot of information on line.

NHS ADHD Information

by BITMO Chief Executive, Deborah Kelly

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    BITMO Updates – September 2020

    I hope you are well,

    I wanted to tell you about how we’ve been doing our best at BITMO to support our customers and our community during COVID-19, and about how we are preparing to resume some of our services to you. In the midst of this seemingly never ending public health challenge that we are all dealing with there are no easy solutions, and no quick way to get back to normal. 

    We are dealing with a significant backlog of repair requests (400 in fact), and our contractor Mears are working through these as quickly as they can, but they don’t yet have a full staff team so things will take some time. Please bear with us while we do our best to serve you.

    Properties are starting to be advertised on CBL and we have been able to hold some socially distanced coffee mornings for our sheltered residents.  The risks to customers and staff associated with face to face service delivery and attending the office are still considerable, while the virus is still active, so our service offer remains telephone based at this time. Some visits such as dealing with arrears, untidy gardens, property condition and mutual exchanges are starting to take place. Where they do happen, our staff will wear PPE to protect you and themselves.

    We have welcomed four new members of staff, having carried out interviews via Skype or at a carefully controlled distance, and we are now inducting our new colleagues while working remotely.

    We welcome:

    • Andrew Walker as new Head of Repairs, Maintenance and Investment
    • John Clark, Management Accountant
    • Michala Parker and Janice Thackray, Customer Assistants. The addition of these four new colleagues will make a huge difference to our quality of service and effectiveness.     

    Some familiar faces have changed roles. 

    • Keith Wigglesworth is taking up a role supporting volunteers and people seeking work and training
    • Debbie Longley has been promoted to the role of Customer Services Team Leader see below to get to know Debbie and her vision for our front line service.
    • Tracey Hall has moved from finance to cyclical maintenance taking care of the gas safety programme among other things.     

    We have strengthened our service offer by creating a Tenancy Support Team headed up by Lesley Fothergill. We will tell you more about this in the next edition.          

    We are continually reviewing how we can provide the best service to you while following Government advice and we will keep you informed as we develop our plans.

    Since lockdown started in March we have regularly kept in touch with over a hundred tenants who were self-isolating, we have allocated funding from Radio Aire’s Cash for Kids and Leeds City Council Community Committee to help families who were struggling because of the impact of COVID-19. We’ve worked with Windmill Children’s Centre to support nearly 50 families by adding money on to their electricity and gas pre-payment meters and providing food shopping vouchers.

    We applied through a charity called DevicesDotNow! for a supply of tablets with SIM cards to distribute to 10 families who really need to be online to maintain in come and education. 

    We are pleased to have received these funds and devices, and that we were able to help families in need, but we are aware that there is a lot more need out there (see page 3 for help available).

    Our AGM took place on 24th September. It was an opportunity for all BITMO Shareholders to vote on Board membership and receive information on the activities of the last year. A full report will be provided next time. We cannot wait to be fully operational and providing you with the full range of BITMO services but in the meantime, stay in touch via the usual channels and let us know how you are coping and the difference you are making to Belle Isle!

    by BITMO Chief Executive, Deborah Kelly

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    Fill out the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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