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The National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards ceremony in September was a big night for Gerraint Jones-Griffiths. Congratulations to our Lead Ambassador, who impressed the judging panel back in July and went on to win the Breaking Down Barriers Award at the Marriott Hotel in Cardiff. Read about this and more in his blog.

August was a really busy month for me as Lead Ambassador for the Engage to Change Project. There’s been a lot of exciting things happening.

Learning Disability Wales (LDW) nominated me for a National Learning Disabilities and Autism Award in the ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ category.

On 21st August I met with the LDW team. They took photos of me and put together an article about my award nomination.

Judging day for the awards took place on 10th July at the Marriott Hotel in Cardiff.  They gave me a 20 minute interview. They asked me things such as “Why do you think LDW nominated you?”  What impact do you think you have on others?” I was really nervous, but the panel told me on the day that I had been shortlisted for the final awards event on 28th September.

I felt highly honoured that I had been shortlisted. I’m not sure how many others were shortlisted for the same category, but I kept my fingers crossed for the awards event on 28th September!

The dress code for the awards event was a black dinner suit with tie. Those who know me will know that I love wearing a suit so that was perfect!

I won the award in my category. I didn’t think I would get it because my fellow nominees were very good organisations such as ELITE Supported Employment [Engage to Change partner]. It was a great evening on 28th September.

On 15th August I worked with All Wales People First’s National Council Development Officer to put a plan together for the Project Ambassador induction sessions. We designed the agenda and talked about how the day will go.

The Ambassador induction sessions were in Cardiff Airport on 17th and 18th September.

As part of their inductions as Project Ambassadors they delivered the Engage to Change Event Presentation to the Project Partners. The partners were very impressed with the amount of work the ambassadors had done over the two day period.

On 29th August All Wales People First’s National Director and I shortlisted the second round of Ambassador recruitment, and on 4th September we interviewed and appointed one applicant. The interview process was a very positive experience, and gave me the opportunity to build on my interviewing skills.

I felt that the successful candidate Michael gave an excellent interview, and I’m looking forward to working with him and welcoming him to the team, with the rest of the Project Ambassadors.