Jordan Allan | Values Into Action Scotland | Glasgow, UK
Positive Role Model (Disability)
I started with VIAS as an Administration Assistant in October 2013. My role was wide and varied but I was mainly responsible for developing our social media presence. In March 2015, I was promoted to the role of Quality Checker and in March 2019 this developed into a role as a Consultant within the VIAS Quality Improvement Service.
To me my paid role as a Consultant means having my own independence. I am able to get up in the morning, go to work, do a day’s work and then go home at the end of the day after a day's work. This also means I have my own money that I can buy things with like my season ticket, holidays, computer games and go to the cinema etc. I also contribute to the bills my parents pay for the house, this gives me a great sense of pride as I am contributing.
My work means I have rights and am now more aware of my rights but it also means responsibilities, a duty to get to work on time, to look respectable and to do my job to the best of my ability. This has also given me a purpose to get up in the morning as it is something I have always wanted to do. It also feels good being a Consultant, it feels good that my family are proud of me getting a job and having my own independence.
I have also learned new skills in the job like using a computer and going out speaking to people, something I have never thought I could of done is stand up and speak in front of a large audience at conferences but now I can say it is something I have done and I have learned many more skills too. I have also learned new life skills, I am able to travel independently now, my colleagues at work have been encouraging me to learn how to cook and I am learning slowly how to do that. I have also gained new qualifications through working at VIAS I now have an SVQ level 2 and 3 in Business and Administration level 3 most recently after going through an apprenticeship.
I also help other people with learning disabilities and people on the autistic spectrum to have the same quality of life as I have and to have the same choice and control in their lives. I do this through interviewing people who receive support from organisations to check if they are having the right support in their lives. To date our evaluation services has helped improve the lives of 1200 people who have learning disabilities or on the autistic spectrum whether it be staying in hospital if you have a learning disability or helping people who go through support employment to find a job and to stay in work. I hope that I am a suitable role model for them and show what is possible with passion and the right support.
Before I started working with VIAS I had never been abroad without my parents or weekends away without them. I went to Prague with my colleagues which was a big step for me and have also been away to Cyprus without my parents and to places like Newcastle and Belfast etc..
I have gained new relationships through having a job at VIAS and made new friends too.
One of the main things for me has to be that I have gained two new qualifications at VIAS. I had previously had a bad experience at college where I struggled with an HNC but since being at VIAS I have gained a SVQ level 2 and level 3 in Administration and Business. This has made me feel very proud and I now feel I am able to gain new qualifications than before when I didn’t think I would gain any qualifications.
I am now able to travel independently which is something before working for VIAS I would never do as I didn’t feel confident, but I now feel I can travel anywhere on my own. If I need any help I just use google maps.
I have started to think about having my own place in the future which is something I would never have thought of doing and I would like my own place in the next couple of years.
I am a lot more confident as a person than I was 4 years ago and I now feel I am more confident to do things that I would have been anxious about doing before. VIAS has helped me to have a better life and I think having a job changes everyone’s life and people should get the support they need to find a job and to stay in a job.