An Inverurie campaigner has been recognised in the first ever RSA Fellowship awards for people with learning disabilities.
Ian Stones was awarded after demonstrating that he had a unique idea with real potential to change lives across Scotland.
Ian has established a group for people with learning disabilities to meet and discuss issues of importance to them.
He plans to develop the group and build the skills of its members so they can work together to share their views on a national level.
He also hopes the group will be able to host events and get involved in national decision making to make sure that the voices of people with learning disabilities are heard.
Ian said: “The Council gave the group funding for 12 months which supported people with learning disabilities to have a voice.
“We’ve already worked with NHS Grampian to make Easy Read booklets for going to the doctor and hospital.
“My idea for the future of the group is to make it bigger. Being an RSA Scotland member is like going to college and learning together. They can learn from me and I can learn from them.”
The initiative was led by the Scottish Commission for Learning Disability (SCLD) in partnership with the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) which has awarded RSA Lifetime Fellowships to six people after a nationwide search.
The winners were announced on Wednesday, May 18 at the ‘Celebrating Success’ RSA Fellowship Awards at the George Hotel, Edinburgh, as part of Learning Disability Week 2016.
Applications for these new Fellowship opportunities were open to anyone over the age of 18 with creative ideas to achieve social change.
The new RSA Fellows represent such diverse interests and passions as: visual arts; developing social and campaigning groups; choreography; creative writing; and teaching music.
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 for RSA Scotland.
“The mission of the RSA is to enrich society through ideas and action and the ideas presented by these new Fellows will make a real difference to their communities.
“We’re looking forward to developing the partnership and supporting our new Fellows with their ideas.”