Pride of Britain Award finalist, Ross Anderson, aims to help change 100,000 lives by 2020. Recently he sat down with us to share his experiences both before and after getting involved with The Trust.
31 year old Ross, from Glasgow, started struggling at school after his father left for good when he was just 14. He got caught up in a gang that at first were embroiled in petty crime, but soon became involved with the using and selling of Class A drugs.
"I left school at 17 with very little in the way of qualifications and tumbled from one unfulfilling job to another. I was always in trouble with the law and my mum asked me to leave as she struggled to cope with my chaotic behaviour."
At 23, Ross tried to turn his life around, and enrolled in a college course; his first attempt at a brighter future.
"I was later convicted of a serious assault after an altercation in a pub. After narrowly avoiding a prison sentence, I was determined to turn my life around this time and threw myself into studying Psychology at Glasgow University."
"I then moved back in with my mum who was struggling with mental illness and addictions, which created more challenges."
Ross now runs a successful personal development business – The Motivational Dude - that inspires people across the UK through talks and training and encourages them to connect with the science of wellbeing to build resilience and motivation, improve their life chances, raise aspirations and unlock their potential.
"Since approaching The Trust for a business grant which helped to get my business up and running, I have delivered talks and workshops across the UK and have even become a Trust Ambassador as well as a TEDx speaker. Working with charities like GAMH and Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus Scotland as well as organisations such as Sky Scanner and DELL, I have delivered training and talks that have helped to inspire over 18,000 people."
Ross’ business has advanced rapidly in the last eight months – having hired four staff (soon to be more), he's also opened an office in Glasgow.
The Motivational Dude’s increased revenue will be injected into creating free and low cost services such as a podcasts and vlogs, while Ross is also writing his first book, to help even more people access his services and be inspired to improve their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
Adding to this success, Ross was shortlisted for The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award at The Daily Mirror’s Pride of Britain Awards, in partnership with TSB. The Awards celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place. Screened on ITV1 in November, it is the biggest awards show of its kind on British television.
Every year, The Prince’s Trust Young Achiever Award recognises the incredible achievements of a young person who has turned their life around against the odds.
Speaking about being shortlisted for The Pride of Britain Awards Ross said:
"I felt really emotional when I got the call about being shortlisted for the Young Achiever Award. It was nice for my work with people to be recognised and it felt like people are behind me. It gave me the motivation to do even more."