30 Under 30: Marcia Lauder

Written by
Share this:

Marcia Lauder, 29, Scottish Borders

Marcia is the founder of Borders Buzz social group for adults with learning disabilities
and recipient of a lifetime Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce (RSA) fellowship.

Marcia was one of six people to win a competition which granted the first RSA fellowships to people with learning disabilities. She won with an idea to get people with learning disabilities across the Scottish Borders connected using social media and organising events through what came to be Borders Buzz.

Borders Buzz has organised a host of events for people with learning disabilities in the Borders including Valentine’s and Christmas discos, trips to Edinburgh to Dynamic Earth, bowling, and barbeques – all of which bring people together to enjoy themselves and make lasting friendships.

The feedback from those who take part in the Borders Buzz network and activities has been resoundingly positive, with new friendships and even new romances forming thanks to Marcia’s work developing the group.

Marcia bravely shared her own personal experiences as a young woman with learning disabilities with the Daily Record to raise awareness for Learning Disability Week. She has also appeared on Borders TV to talk about Borders Buzz, spoken at a workshop at The Gathering at the SEC in Glasgow, taken part in a Q&A session for International Women’s Day, and been a judge for the first Scottish Learning Disability Awards.

Those who work alongside Marcia describe her as quietly determined and a person who works hard to get people on side and get things done. She is a real driving force for social change in the Borders, making a positive impact on other people with learning disabilities.

And all before she even hits 30 – an everyday shero for sure!


What’s your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement was being selected to join the RSA Fellowship in Scotland. I was flabbergasted! But it also made me feel really happy. I didn’t think that would happen to someone like me, but it’s good for people with a learning disability that we can be recognised in this way.

What women inspire you?

I met Jackie Bird, the TV presenter, when I attended the RSA Fellowship Awards in Glasgow. She’s s very smart woman who does a lot of good work for charity.

I also like Sally Magnusson who I also met through the RSA. She was very friendly and smart too.

When I was at school, before my autism was diagnosed, there was a classroom assistant called Mary Brown and I always remember how helpful and supportive she was to me.

What change would you like to see for girls and young women in Scotland in the next 10 years?

I would like to see women becoming more independent. I also think women should be getting paid the same as men if they’re doing the same job.

What can we do to shatter the glass ceiling once and for all?

I think women should be valued for what they can do instead of how they look or what they wear. That would help make things more equal.

What 3 women (past, present or future) would you invite to your dream dinner or party/picnic?

Tracy Beaker, TV actress because she always used to make me laugh and comedian Catherine Tait for the same reason. Snow White because I used to love Disney when I was little.

What would your message be for young girls and women in Scotland?

I’d tell them to be who you want to be, not who someone else wants you to be. Follow your dream and try and keep your independent spirit.

You can find Borders Buzz on Facebook at BordersBuzz2016.

Pictures courtesy of SCLD

You can see the full list of our amazing 30 Under 30 2017 finalists here, and keep a look out on the blog as we feature a different finalist every day throughout November.

Back To Top