Stephen Adamson who is supported by Achieve together was a finalist at The National Learning Disabilities & Autism Awards in the Sporting Chance category.
Stephen is a true sports champion. His ability to succeed in everything he puts his mind to led him to complete his FA Level One Sports Coaching qualification with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation.
He has channelled this learning into being a positive force for others, by working hard to promote positive health and wellbeing. Stephen is autistic and lives in an Achieve together supported living service in Croydon and has worked with the Achieve together Coproduction Team in pursuing his goal of helping others with their health, as Sports Ambassador.
Achieve together is one of the UK’s leading providers of specialist support for people with learning disabilities, autism and associated complex needs. It provides the best specialist support to over 2,300 young people and adults in over 400 services across England and Wales.
Stephen’s been working with the self and peer advocacy group Campaign 4 Change, to develop opportunities for others with learning and physical disabilities to motivate them to improve their health and fitness, while affording them the opportunity to develop new friendships and enhance social networks.
He currently runs ‘Gentle Exercise’ classes for older people with learning disabilities who find it more difficult to exercise. The sessions have been a great success and have inspired many to enjoy being active.
In addition to being dedicated to the promotion of fitness and physical health, Stephen has also taken steps to encourage others to prioritise mental health and wellbeing. While Stephen experiences significant social anxieties, he has shown great perseverance in the face of different obstacles. He has developed his confidence and self-esteem throughout his time coaching and now encourages his peers to do the same.
Stephen’s mother, Rita said:
“I’m so proud of Stephen, especially over the last two years, during the pandemic. During this time he has coped so well personally, and at the same time has been so caring about the other people he lives with, and others with disabilities. He has given so much to support the wellbeing of others, and that has helped his own confidence and independence. Stephen is proud of his longstanding loyalty to his team, QPR. At the club he is highly regarded and during lockdown, when he could not go to matches they rang him a few times to check on his wellbeing”.
Stephen has gone out of his way to help others by running ‘Walk n Talk’ sessions. In the sessions, people with learning disabilities and autism from the local area come together to walk through the park, while Stephen leads a mindfulness session. Stephen has recently been involved in a ‘Walk N Talk’ raising awareness and sponsorship for Breast Cancer Now.
Stephen demonstrates great sportsmanship; he encompasses all that it takes to be a team player and a great coach. He has worked tirelessly to improve upon his own skillset and knowledge but has most importantly improved the lives and opportunities of those around him.
Michael Fullerton, Director of Health and Welling at Achieve together said of Stephen:
“I admire Stephen so much. Despite the social anxieties he faces he has used his skill and knowledge in sports to benefit many other people. I have seen over the years of working with and being friends with Stephen a real growth in his confidence and resilience. His work really does make a tremendous positive difference to the physical and mental health of others, and as Director of Health & Wellbeing in Achieve together I am so appreciative of his valuable input’’.
*Source Achieve together Impact Report 2020