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Monthly Maple - November 2023

A Newsletter written by Neurodivergent Youths in Scottish Borders for Neurodivergent Youths.

Insomnia - the UK's BIGGEST gaming event, has always been a safe and comfortable place for all gamers. For all ages and all abilities, meaning there will be no limitations.

What is insomnia?

"A CELEBRATION OF GAMING”. Not to be confused with the sleeping conditions, Insomnia Gaming Festival is a massive community-led gaming convention that takes place twice a year, currently at the NEC in Birmingham. If you’re a fan of gaming, pop culture or anything in between then Insomnia has you covered. Whether you’re looking to get your hands on some games, check out shows across multiple stages, meet voice actors and content creators or just enjoy the best vibes in gaming with your friends, Insomnia Gaming Festival is the place to be.

If you’re wondering what age Insomnia caters to, there is no minimum age to attend, under 6’s go free, and it is highly recommended children under 14 are accompanied byan adult. There are also specific elements of the event that are only for those over 18“(you will be asked for ID)." Insomnia website. Want to play new games, then take atry and decide if you want to buy! If board games are more your thing, there is a vast selection for you and your friends to compete. Or even if you just fancy some collectables, there is nowhere better to get your mini figures, beautiful prints or even handcrafted items from your favourite games and movies.

PLUS so much more!

With the wide walkways, the mass of security and the friendly faces behind the constantly growing stalls, this makes it extremely inclusive. As the years go on, it's not just the event itself that grows, it's the community that grows with it, making it so special and unique. The team behind Insomnia really do bring everything to the table ready to have a fun weekend and have great brands and company collaborations such as special effects and guide dogs.

This includes "The world's famous pub quiz" (Fun fact: The host, Wizzo, actually worked in the borders general for a short while) for over 18's, and "The Dark Room" - a fun filled live game show, hosted by John Robertson, which are both to raise money for special effect - a disabled gamers charity. These are great fun and highly recommended.


The event has personally assisted me by providing the "gaming for everyone" wristbands. I am an individual with ASD, ADHD, anxiety, and Type one diabetes. Due to this I require additional assistance in certain aspects of my life.

This wristband lets staff amongst the event aware that the person wearing it may be in need of assistance, or further assistance than already offered or provided. This let them know anytime my blood was out of control, or if things got just a little too much for me, I would be taken to first aid or would be taken to somewhere more quiet, cool and comfortable until I was ready to join back in all the fun.

My girlfriend and I were both introduced to these together after having sensory overloads and panic attacks. A lovely volunteer was kind enough to move our seats into a quiet and spacious area of the VIP section of LAN, and gave us these wristbands, which came in extremely helpful to get around and explore with ease. This addition to the festival will bring a lot of comfort and confidence to potential future customers and guests.


"We’re a charity that uses specialist technology to enhance the quality of life of people of all ages who have severe physical challenges, whether as a result of a disability, traumatic injury or debilitating illness. Our specialist multi-professional team provides face-to-face assessment and support wherever it is needed, whether in a hospital, a rehabilitation centre or at home. We share our expertise globally through online training materials and resources, and we also advise software and hardware developers from all over the world on how to make their technology more accessible for all.

In this way, what we learn from our multi-professional lifelong assessment and support service can transform the lives of many thousands of disabled people everywhere." - Special Effect website.

Written By Chloe

Harry’s Hilarious Honesties –Haunted Mansion

Hold on to your hats. This review is about to get interesting. Because it’s Halloween, this review is focused on Disney’s new film adaptation of Haunted Mansion. This film came out in the summer of this year. The story revolves around a single mother and her son who move into an old mansion only to encounter aghostly presence. When things get out of hand, they enlist a team of so-called spiritual experts featuring a ghost tour guide, a priest, a psychic and an eccentric college historian. It soon turns into a race against time to find out how to stop this madness. This isn’t Disney’s first film adaptation of their famous theme park attractions.

The big one being pirates of the Caribbean. There have been others apart from that and there was a Haunted mansion film that came out in 2003. So, does Disney deliver with this new adaptation of the famous Haunted Mansion ride? I would say so. The film is a lot of fun. The set pieces and sound design is all on point. At times it can be really scary with a few jump-scares that would make someone jump out of their skin. The film is also really funny. It certainly knows how to balance the two tones together. Everyone in the cast have brilliant chemistry and are fun to watch.

The film is also visually entertaining especially with the ghosts and there are very heartfelt moments in there too. I’m kind of wondering why it was released in summer. It certainly is the perfect thing to watch on Halloween. It’s a spooky blast. Oh, and did I mention Owen Wilson is in this film? Wow.

Reviewed and written by Harry

As part of my role as Autism Community Coordinator, we have worked very hard to ensure the lived voices and experience of Autistic young people and co-produce a NEW Autism Strategy in the Scottish Borders.

I conducted a consultation with Neurodivergent Youths aged 16-15 years of age on Accessing community Support. I worked with leads to change the wording of Social Prescribing to ensure the meaning is within clearer context.

“Social prescribing is a way to help you find support and things to do in your community that can improve your health and enable you stay well”

Here are some of the results:

“Someone who can treat every individual person as separate case! It’s hard because the problem is there is not enough support workers about”

“Youth volunteering support for young kids to feel happy and healthy to grow”

“More accessible support. Good support and more local youth groups”

“A safe place to go to that open for people like me with Autism”

“Like to see adedicated service forover 16+, a chilled group that meets and we go on our journey together. Branching Out is my lifeline and supports me with lots of things including my health”

Guest Writer – Pauline Grigor, Autism Community Coordinator

If you want to know more about the report or be part of Neurodivergent Youth Voice Group, we meet monthly on Fridays at 11-12.30 at The Focus Centre contact Pauline Grigor:

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