Equal Futures host first Leadership Cafe

Posted 12/05/2023

Celebrating leadership within our communities, Equal Futures invited Gig Buddies and Thera (Scotland) to their first Leadership Cafe

Equal Futures, partnering with Gig Buddies with Thera Trust, and Thera (Scotland), recently hosted their first Leadership Café event in Edinburgh.

The event brought together volunteer befrienders, Gig Buddies Project Managers, Thera staff, Equal Futures Project Coordinators and Chairman, and people with a lived experience of a learning disability, to discuss their experiences and roles as leaders in organisations and local communities.

Jordan Allan, Service Quality Director at Thera Scotland, shared his experiences of building a career and achieving recognition by being placed on the Power 100 list, which recognises the 100 most influential people with a disability living and working in the UK. At the event he discussed how being given the opportunity to build a career and treated as an equal has impacted his life.

It’s given me an unbelievable amount of independence. Before I’d started working I wouldn’t even go half an hour away and now I travel to Inverness and England. Things that I’d never done ten years ago. I now have my own home, which I never thought was possible. It makes you equal in society.

The event was also an opportunity for staff members to spend time with people with a lived experience and see how their support impacts their lives. Rosemary attended, along with her volunteer befriender, Jacinta, and explained the positive effects that Equal Futures and Jacinta have had had on her life.

Being friends with Jacinta, and supported by Jane, is great. They understand me. I’m so happy.

Jacinta and Rosemary enjoying the Leadership Cafe

Equal Futures Project Coordinator, Jane Mcallister, spoke to us about the event:

It was a great chance to delve into what leadership can really mean for people with a learning disability or autism. Some of our guests told their own leadership stories. It was the first time we had ran such an event, it was very beneficial and I would love to adapt it into a workshop to roll out to a larger audience.