400 Disabled people celebrate ‘transformation through learning’


Glasgow Disability Alliance (GDA), an organisation which provides training and support to disabled people and promotes awareness to increase equality and social justice, is celebrating its 10th birthday tomorrow.

The celebrations are being marked with a festival dubbed “Transformation Through Learning” with presentations on the work and achievements of the organisation, combined with learning workshops including one detailing how welfare reform will affect disabled people.

Also being celebrated is an award to the GDA by the Big Lottery fund of £884,748 in order to develop its work.

The central theme of learning has been lauded as a key tool for the empowerment of disabled people, with GDA Director Tressa Burke saying:


“Learning has numerous direct and indirect benefits ranging from increased skills and confidence to being a stepping stone to further learning, training, qualifications and work. At the same time we encourage people to participate and build social networks, something that most people take for granted but until recently was seen as a privilege by many disabled people.”

GDA member Bridie Gallagher welcomed the news of further funding and commented that: 

“I’ve always been disabled and grew up in a children’s home which is just where disabled kids went in those days. When I retired on medical grounds, after working for 40 years, I became very isolated. I also lost my confidence but thanks to GDA’s learning and support I’ve got it back and I’ve started to get out of the house more often rather than looking at four walls. I now volunteer three days a week and am active and re-energised.  At 61, I am looking forward to the future. I am thrilled that GDA have another project funded by the Big Lottery Fund so that they can help others like me, as well as younger disabled people.”