Andrew, how did you become shortlisted for the Power 100 list back in 2019?
2019 was a really difficult time for me. Shortly after returning to work from some annual leave, Shaw Trust and the Power 100 invited me to the House of Commons for an event to celebrate the Power 100 list. The development team at Thera Trust nominated me to be on the list and I didn’t really expect anything from it so I was extremely honoured to have found out I was on the list. However, I was shocked to find out that I was number 4 on the Power 100 list when they read my profile out at the event in the House of Commons and I nearly fell off my chair!
In 2020 you were asked to come back as a judge for the Power 100 List, can you tell us more about that Andrew?
A few months after being named on the List, they came back to me and asked me whether I would like to remain on the list or become a judge for 2020. I knew I wanted to give other people a chance to be on the list and to go through the same experience as me so I decided to be a judge. In 2020, we had over 300 candidates for the list and we had to choose a certain number of candidates for each category. Although, we weren’t able to celebrate it like 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic so everything was celebrated on zoom.
Andrew, tell us how Jordan received his nomination earlier this year?
After my time judging in 2020, I was asked to judge again in 2021. Alongside judging, you can also nominate someone to potentially be shortlisted and this year I nominated Jordan.
Jordan, how did it feel to be nominated and shortlisted on this year’s power list?
It was a huge honour for me to just be nominated to be on this year’s Power 100 List. Last year I loved looking at the people on the list and saw a lot of inspirational people. When I found out I had made it onto the list, I was extremely proud of myself for what I have achieved and it is a real honour and privilege to be shortlisted for the Disability Power 100 2021.
What is next for you following your shortlist, Jordan?
I want to use this shortlist to help other people with a learning disability to lead meaningful lives with support like I have had. Whether that is supporting them to have a job, a house, relationships. Whatever their dreams and aspirations are, I want to be able to help others with a learning disability achieve their dreams and show them that they can do so.
This shortlist has given a lot of confidence in knowing I can support the people we support in Thera (Scotland) to achieve their dreams like I have been able to do.
What does it mean to people with a learning disability to see someone like you in the Power 100 list?
It is important for people with a learning disability to see people like them as leaders in society as it gives them inspiration and motivation to chase their dreams and aspirations and shows them it is possible to do so.
What advice would both of you give to people with a learning disability following both of your success?
Believe in yourself. You should never settle for something small; you can achieve your dreams and be leaders in society like everyone else. A children’s psychologist once told me that I wouldn’t be able to cope in school or in the wider world and I can now proudly say I have proved them wrong.
I agree with Jordan, with the right support you can achieve your dreams. Younger people with a learning disability, like Jordan, are achieving great things and you can too. Imagine where you could be in 10 years’ time when working hard.