Some of the RSA Fellows and guests at the film premiere event

RSA Fellows with learning disabilities are celebrated at film premiere

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The Scottish Commission for people with Learning Disabilities (SCLD)  hosted a film premiere on Friday 20th September, to celebrate the inspiring achievements of seven people with learning disabilities who are lifetime Fellows of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). The seven individuals were granted the first RSA fellowships to people with learning disabilities in 2016. The premiere took place at The Scottish Youth Theatre in Glasgow’s Merchant City, with family and friends of the Fellows joining a selection of invited guests to celebrate their achievements.

The RSA is a global community of 30,000 people who work together for social change. Their work focuses on supporting innovation in three major areas; creative learning and development, public services and communities and economy, enterprise and manufacturing.

SCLD has worked with the RSA to award sponsored lifetime fellowships to seven people with learning disabilities who each had a mission to make a positive change. Through SCLD’s partnership, the Fellows have been able to access the vast network of contacts, resources and knowledge that the RSA offers.

Charlie McMillan, Chief Executive of SCLD said:

“I am delighted to celebrate the achievements of the SCLD RSA Fellows and the positive and practical impact they have had on their local communities. Their achievements are testament to what organisations like the RSA can gain when they include people with learning disabilities.”

Jamie Cooke, Head of RSA Scotland said:

“Working in partnership with SCLD to involve people with learning disabilities in our Fellowship network has been a great experience, and this event has one of my proudest moments at RSA Scotland. The mission of the RSA is to enrich society through ideas and action. These seven RSA Fellows have truly delivered on this mission, and have challenged us to think in new ways about how our Fellowship can support social change in Scotland. I believe these seven exceptional individuals will go on to achieve great things in the future.”

About the Fellows

Fife-based fellow Leeanne Clark has used the opportunities that access to the RSA network have brought her to write her own life-story, detailing her experience of the care system; she is currently in the final stages of editing her book.

Artist Cameron Morgan has found that the RSA fellowship has enabled him to push out his work to a wider audience, including a recent exhibition of his work entitled ‘Knick Knacks and What Nots’ in Belfast. He is a self-taught painter, muralist, ceramicist and photographer and a keen gardener and hillwalker. He is based at Project Ability in Glasgow – a visual arts charity which creates opportunities for people with disabilities and people with mental health issues to express themselves and achieve their artistic potential.

Ian Stones campaigns to raise awareness of disability health rights in Aberdeenshire and is a long-standing member of the NHS Grampian Disability Advisory Group.

Professional dancer Adam Sloan has choreographed his first ‘How do you like your eggs in the morning’ launched as port of Go Dance at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow. He has also toured the world as part of his dance group ‘IndepenDANCE and most recently performed at the closing ceremony of the IASSIDD Congress in Glasgow, in August 2019.

Marcia Lauder has set up her own online community ‘Borders Buzz’ which organises and promotes local events to support people with a learning disability to be included in their local community. Marcia was recently included in the ’30 under 30’ – a list of the most influential young women in Scotland.

Ross Inglis is the founder of the Dundee City Pipe Band (DCPB) – Scotland’s first fully inclusive pipe band. DCPB welcomes and offers lessons to people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Ross has welcomed guests to the Learning Disability Awards in 2018 and 2019 by piping them into the drinks reception. His Pipe Band were also involved in the opening ceremony of the V&A Museum in Dundee.

Jason Lyons, from Dundee organised a conference on sensory storytelling and uses his skills as a storyteller with Timeless Tales in his local community.