More than £3m has been given to help around 2000 young disabled people in Scotland maintain employment during the pandemic.
The Transition Fund, administered by Independent Living Fund (ILF) Scotland, is for those aged between 16 and 25 and aims to help young people develop their independence, confidence and participation within their communities.
A record 1822 applications were received since March 1 2020 – peaking during the outbreak.
Joe Eaglesham, from Evanton in the Highlands, has ADHD and dyslexia.
He was living in Glasgow before losing his job at the start of the pandemic.
On moving home, a family friend told him about the ILF Scotland Transition Fund and suggested he apply for funding support to help him pursue his dream of becoming a tree surgeon.
He used ILF funding to undertake training and get his qualifications in 2020 and he has just moved to Edinburgh for work.
The 23-year-old said: “For the first time in my life, I don’t feel a sense of dread and wake up excited to go to work.
“I’m so happy to now have a legitimate career after many difficult years at school where I felt held back due to my ADHD and dyslexia.
“I wish I’d heard about ILF Scotland back then.”
Laura Glennie, from Glasgow, has a developmental co-ordination condition, dyspraxia and dyslexia.
Before lockdown, her life involved working 9am until 5pm, with little time for socialising or volunteering.
In 2020, she accessed ILF Scotland funding to break the cycle and make key life changes.
She wanted to improve work-life balance and used funding to get an electric bike to help her get out and about, enjoy daily exercise and towards a different job.
The 26-year-old has recently started working as a Deliveroo food delivery rider and is transitioning away from her day job to free up more time.
She said: “The bike has given me the confidence to stop the things I don’t like and make room for doing what I enjoy.
“I love that now I can just get up and go and have more opportunities than just sitting behind a laptop.
“With the e-bike, I can socialise and join my sporty friends and can even reach the top of a big hill.”
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