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‘Our Future Leaders’ course paves the way for greater inclusion in the charity sector - Inspiring Scotland

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The latest stories from Inspiring Scotland and our partner charities.

‘Our Future Leaders’ course paves the way for greater inclusion in the charity sector

The Our Future Leaders course, now in its third cohort is a unique leadership course for people with learning disabilities developed by Inspiring Scotland and the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities.

Life is about choices, and this course is about helping participants develop the skills and tools to make choices that can lead them towards healthy, happy and fulfilling lives. Everybody has the ability to be a leader, and developing leadership skills can help enable individuals with learning disabilities to lead in their own lives and have ambition for the future where they have choices.

The ground-breaking course ‘Our Future Leaders,’ is now in its third cohort. It was developed by Inspiring Scotland and the Scottish Commission for People with Learning Disabilities (SCLD) to create a unique leadership course for people with learning disabilities, the only course of its kind in the UK.

‘Our Future Leaders’ aims to support people with learning/intellectual disabilities to develop of practical leadership skills. With this emphasis on practical skills, the course helps guide participants on their journey towards greater independence, while also recognising the learning style and pace needed for individuals. The programme is uniquely tailored, giving participants the opportunity to apply what they learn to their own everyday lives. Over the longer term, participants can develop skills within the community of people with intellectual disabilities that will ensure they are empowered, as a community, to participate as equal and valued citizens, with the full range of rights that other citizens enjoy.

The course covers a range of topics, including communication, confidence building and self-awareness. A range of expert presenters deliver a series of engaging and interesting sessions , covering an introduction to leadership, including colour types, as well as practical skills in charity finance, governance, employability and interview tips not forgetting mindfulness and relaxation strategies.

The course has truly fulfilled the aim of creating ambition for the future with past participants co-delivering current and future course sessions.

A vision statement from a recent graduate helps highlight this:

“My vision is to hope that in an ideal world there are a multitude of free resources available to everyone who needs them and centres have a flexible, person centred approach with members at the heart.

“I enjoy working with animals and I’d like to study psychology and animal behaviour and follow this as a career.”

Overwhelmingly positive feedback has been gathered from previous participants so far. One course participant said:

“The course has really helped me in showing me how to be a leader in my job. Instead of our weekly meeting being led by the staff, it’s me and the other ambassadors who now lead it.”

The course has also helped individuals to become ambitious for the future, of which confidence and communication are key elements. One participant shared how the course has helped their confidence and communication skills on a practical level:

“I have learned to have confidence when talking to new people and I will use this when new customers come into the café and ask me what they need.”

The programme was developed and delivered by Elaine Crichton (Performance Advisor Learning Disabilities Portfolio) from Inspiring Scotland and Catriona Rowley (Participation & Partnerships Adviser) from SCLD.

Inspiring Scotland is a charity with the aim to build a Scotland without poverty and disadvantage, where everyone has the same opportunities to reach their potential and lead happy and healthy lives.

SCLD is the Scottish Commission for Learning Disabilities, a charity committed to finding new and better ways to improve the lives of people with learning disabil­ities. SCLD offer support and information on learning disabilities in Scotland and work to put Scotland’s learning disability strategy, The keys to life, into practice.

 

 

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