THURSDAY night saw two-in-a-row for Celtic FC Foundation’s Ability Counts, as the initiative clinched Best Community Project at The Herald’s Diversity Awards for the second consecutive year.

Championing inclusivity, The Herald’s Diversity Awards recognise organisations committed to ensuring everyone in society has the opportunity to fulfil their ambitions, aspirations and potential.

Following victory in the same category last year, this accolade marks the latest triumph for Celtic FC Foundation’s multi-award winning Ability Counts project. Underlining the strong competition for Best Community Project, this year’s award was shared alongside I Am Me Scotland, a Renfrewshire-based Community Charity working to raise awareness of Disability Hate Crime.

Developed in 2010 in consultation with Down’s Syndrome Scotland, Ability Counts officially launched in February, 2011.   

The first of its kind in Scotland, the project has steadily evolved, with 2015 marking the introduction of an additional strand encompassing children with Autism. Based upon group and game-based activity, Ability Counts Autism aims to improve the confidence, social development and overall wellbeing of participants.

The fledgling Autism strand has mirrored the project’s previous successes, as well broadening outreach to help more families than ever. This year also witnessed the launch of a fresh initiative, Ability Counts 18+, providing a pathway for participants and others of adult age to learn skills around employability and mature learning.

Celtic FC Foundation Chief Executive, Tony Hamilton, said: “Huge thanks to The Herald’s Diversity Awards for recognising Ability Counts’ value for the second year running. The strength of this concept stems from believing in, nurturing and developing potential. Across our organisation, we are committed to creating opportunities for all.

“Expanding year-on-year, the project’s continued acclaim is indicative of the talent and enthusiasm of our participants, many of whom have been with us from the very beginning. Our immediate aim now is to expand our service provision and also the facilities we have so that we can do more of this.

“Once again, I’d like to express my pride and gratitude to everyone involved in Ability Counts – here’s to more success in the future.”

Delivered at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, Ability Counts Down’s Syndrome takes place on Saturdays from 1pm to 4pm, with our Autism strand delivered 6-8pm on Thursdays. Ability Counts 18+ is delivered weekly at Celtic Park.

If you would like more information about any of our Ability Counts strands, please contact [email protected]