Born with Cerebral Palsy, 47-year-old James Gilmour from Renfrew has never let his disability stand in his way. Fiercely independent and with a passion for keeping active, James embraces life to the fullest. A well-known face around Renfrewshire, James is always on the go, whether it be attending the Ferguslie Learning Centre or volunteering at the college and community groups.
Speaking to James about how he got involved with the Ferguslie Learning Centre, he said, “I volunteer at the Paisley campus, doing some cleaning. I’d also done a Magazine course there and it was one of the lecturers that told me about the gardening course he ran at Ferguslie. I went along to the open day and loved it straight away.
Everyone makes you feel so welcome. I just clicked with them. I think the world of Kathleen and her team.
James as a positive, outgoing person thoroughly embraces the social aspect of the centre. James continued, “My favourite thing is meeting a lot of new people and having fun. We have a good laugh and a joke, and we love to wind each other up. I just like surrounding myself with positive people.”
Keen to help anyone he can, James also completed the Volunteering course at Ferguslie. The course which aims to equip students with the skills they need to take on a volunteering role helped James build on his confidence and he went on to secure a role at dates-n-mates, Scotland’s national dating and friendship agency for adults with learning disabilities. James said, “The course helped prepare me for this job and it was good to be able to use the skills I learned.”
Having just taken on a job at a local allotment, James is planning to return to Ferguslie after summer to upgrade his gardening skills. James commented, “I really enjoyed the gardening course and I’m looking forward to learning more when I come back.”
When asked if he would recommend the Ferguslie Learning Centre to others he simply said,
Definitely, it’s brilliant.
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