How we've helped The Spectra Project
The Spectra Project supports families and individuals with spectrum conditions and neurodiversity.
The Growth Hub are so warm and welcoming and genuinely care about your success. They want to see you do well.
How we helped
After graduating from university, Jenna Owen founded The Spectra Project, when she returned to Cornwall six years later to find the county was still lacking support for people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
Having personal experience of spectrum disorders, Jenna was looking for something to sink her teeth into and so The Spectra Project was born.
The project, local to Callington, supports families and individuals with spectrum conditions and neurodiversity. Conditions such as autism, ADHD, OCD, dyspraxia, dyslexia, as well as other neurological differences are supported.
So far, Jenna says the focus of her work has been helping people who come to her with getting a diagnosis.
“When you’re in a formal assessment, lots of children will mask their neurodiverse characteristics. If the professional hasn’t got a very trained eye, they’re not going to see it,” says Jenna.
“People often say I’ve been diagnosed, my doctor has told me I’ve got autism, but now what? They’ve not given me anything, they’ve not given me anywhere to go to get advice and support.”
The Spectra Project steps in to support parents with moving them to the next stage of their child’s diagnosis. To do this, Jenna needed to get The Spectra Project off the ground and knew she would need help.
“Right at the beginning of everything I was just so out of my depth. I was googling things and trying to figure out what it was I needed to put into place and it was all just a bit overwhelming. I just needed someone with that expertise and knowledge to point me in the right direction,” says Jenna.
“Growth Hub were amazing, they signposted me to the right people. They were just there for that conversation and instilled confidence in me that I knew what I was doing and thinking, OK I can do this.”
As Jenna was looking to start a not-for-profit rather than a trading business, Growth Hub matched her with a mentor. From there, Access to Finance and School for Entrepreneurs provided her with access to the funding and training she needed.
“I wouldn’t be on the pathway that I am without Growth Hub,” says Jenna.
Although tailored towards children, young people and families at the moment, Jenna hopes to branch out as they gain more funding. The Spectra Project will then be able to start sessions for the wellbeing of children and young people, and their mental health to build vital life skills.
“We want to give people a place where they feel accepted because we don’t get that often in this community,” says Jenna.
“The Growth Hub’s changed the way I think about things. They’ve equipped me with the skills I need. They’ve given me networking; they’ve provided me with people that I can now talk to, and I’ve got the base team around me. I know that whatever The Spectra Project faces going forward, I’ve got so many people I can call on.”
Since The Spectra Project was founded, two other CIC directors have been appointed and their CIC registration has now been submitted. Being officially registered as a not-for-profit company will help them to get vital funding, they need to get their services out there.
“I would recommend Growth Hub because they were just the absolute pinnacle of getting me started,” says Jenna.
“They are so warm and welcoming and genuinely care about your success. They want to see you do well.”
The Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Hub from May 2016 - June 2023 was part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and match funded by Cornwall Council, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership. The project received £2,848,591.49 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.