“One of the biggest challenges I faced growing up with a disability was with confidence, which made going out to meet friends very difficult. By the time I left school at eighteen I hadn’t really met friends my age in my area, as I’d travelled to schools at the other side of Glasgow.
From school I progressed to college, but again I travelled to Glasgow. I spent time with friends during college, but not outside. When I left college, apart from family, I was on my own and rarely went out, which was starting to get me down.
At age 20 I was still in the house at the weekend whilst my peers were going out into the world and having fun. One of my concerned relatives decided to take action and introduced me to a girl my age who also had a disability. I started going out at weekends and in time had a wider circle of friends.
My friend worked during the week and I was fed up being stuck at home. I wanted to go out more so I go up one day and decided I would go out by myself. It was scary at first but over time became life changing for me.
The more I went out, the more confidence I gained, and I had to keep pushing beyond my comfort zone. I’d moved on from only going to the local shop to getting the train by myself into the city to meet friends.
Now 16 years on my work takes me all over the country, with a large network of friends. I use my own experience to educate others who are just starting out on their own confidence journey.”