Embracing neurodiversity is reaping rewards at a Cumbrian business where staff are being offered vital support to help them lead happier lives at work and home.

The Cumberland marked Neurodiversity Celebration Week with a series of workshops and training sessions.

Cumberland development manager Sean Turney, who is helping to run the new monthly support group launched this week, says neurodiversity brings creativity, lateral thinking and innovation to any business.

Sean spent nearly 50 years wondering why he found life such a struggle. Now he is not only accepting of the fact that he is probably autistic - he is learning to embrace it.

He said: “Neurodiverse colleagues are essential to any workforce. The blue sky thinkers come up with the vision - but they need someone like me to work out the steps on how we get there. I see things that other people just don’t see."

In Cumbria: Abbie CurzonAbbie Curzon (Image: Supplied)

Sean is urging colleagues who are struggling to get in touch, whether they have a diagnosis or not.

"There is no shame in being neurodiverse. I spent years struggling with change, communication and empathy. I learned how to mask my confusion and pretend that I was OK, but it was a constant struggle and I was exhausted. Then I went to a workshop at The Cumberland on understanding neurodiversity and it changed my life."

The Cumberland is working with Maryport non-profit organisation Owl Blue to run regular sessions, helping to raise vital awareness of a range of hidden disabilities from autism to ADHD, in a bid to create a workplace that is inclusive for all.

In Cumbria: The Cumberland launched a neurodiversity toolkit late last yearThe Cumberland launched a neurodiversity toolkit late last year (Image: Supplied)

The work is underpinned by a Neurodiversity Toolkit, which includes stories of neurodiverse colleagues with a focus on the benefits of neurodiversity in the workplace.

People coordinator Abbie Curzon said: "A workforce with diverse viewpoints and approaches can boost engagement, positivity and productivity. But it can also appeal to a wider customer base and that is crucial.

"We’re a business who really cares about our colleagues and I’m proud to be part of a nurturing environment where people are able to bring their whole selves to work."