Inspiring role model Neil takes key award

Neil Price
Neil Price

A MAN from Cumbernauld is among the winners of a prestigious award which makes him a role model for people with learning disabilities.

Neil Price, who has Down’s Syndrome, is a distinguished sportsman and dancer. He played football for Great Britain in the 2003, Special Olympics World Summer Games in Dublin.

The following year he was one of the athletes selected to carry the Olympic torch in London. However his true passion is dance, as he is involved with the inclusive dance company Independ-Dance, which saw him travel to India last year to perform in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games.

Neil (30), who works in Tesco Extra Cumbernauld, is also exceptional in one other regard - he has a job, unlike 86 per cent of adults with learning disabilities. Th Young Scotland’s Got Talent awards are intended to raise awareness of the achievements of employed people with learning disabilities and last Wednesday Neil became one of the first 12 people to win such an award, which named him as “One to Watch” in recognition of his impressive talents as a dancer.

Neil was nominated by Fiona Macneill of sports organisation Glasgow Life, who commented: “Neil is a role model for many and his boundless enthusiasm and energy encourages others to participate. He continues to pushs and defy boundaries and this in turn encourages and inspires others.”

The awards were organised by the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability (SCLD). SCLD director Lisa Curtice said: ”Employment is a theme that brings together key areas of our work, from education and training, to support services and changing social attitudes.

“We hope employers across the country will follow the example set by Neil and his employers in encouraging more Scottish businesses to hire people with learning disabilities and local authorities to provide more services to help people into work.”