an image of stefan

Stefan Hoggan-Radu

Published 26th October 2021

Meet Stefan Hoggan-Radu

Feature Interview

We caught up with Disability Power 100 judge and influencer, Stefan Hoggan-Radu to find out what it was like to be on the list and now a judge.

Oct 26, 2021

An image of Stefan Hoggan

Not only were you on the Disability Power 100 in 2019 and 2020 but you were also a judge for this year, how have you found the two different experiences?

Being on the list in 2019 and 2020 was incredible, especially in 2019. I hadn’t actually heard of the list before, which is bad. I should have heard about the list but unfortunately I hadn’t. Since then I have been committed to sharing people’s stories. I’ve made a lot of connections, a lot of networking through the list and it was really a great experience, and in 2019 I got to come down to London, to the House of Lords and got to be part of the ceremony and I brought my grandma with me and we spent the day in London which was a brilliant.

Being on the list and a judge was a huge difference, I was honoured in 2019 and 2020 to be on the list and then when I was asked to be a judge it was fantastic. I have been around disability my entire life. I was born with my lower right arm missing and the list is something that I think is great for not only promoting people with disabilities in the work that they do, but also to engage with disabled people and hear their stories and thoughts. So actually getting to read what other people had said about these fantastic people was just an honour.

As somebody who’s on the list, you don’t get to see all the wonderful things that people have said about all these different people that have made the top 100. But as a judge, I got to read through all these brilliant stories and not only the people that made the final 100 but people that didn’t quite make it and will probably be on the list in the future and that was a real honour for me.

What do you think the importance of initiatives like the Disability Power 100 are?

I think initiatives like the Disability Power 100 are extremely important, it doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t matter what age you are, it doesn’t matter where you’re from the only criteria is that you have some form of disability. It’s great to showcase those top 100, there are so many influential people, and I don’t think it’s just the people that make the final 100 list, it’s everybody that’s been nominated and also the people who are starting to do good things and have not yet been nominated.

I’ve heard of the fantastic work of these people and, like I said, it was an honour to be able to go through the list and to be able to see the people that are coming through and especially the young people. The amount of very young people that were nominated was fantastic and although they’ve maybe not made the list this time, they will definitely, if they continue on their current path, make the list in the future.

What have you been up to since the last time we spoke?

I think the last time we spoke was at the very beginning of this year and I was standing up to become an MSP, a Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Scottish National Party and it was a fantastic campaign. Obviously the Scottish National Party, SNP, did fantastically well.

I narrowly missed out on becoming an MSP myself but I have been working recently on a project of mine, a podcast called The Blether Cast. It’s a pro-independence news and politics podcast – all about grassroots voices and I’ve had a couple of disabled people on so far as well and I’ve tried to make it as inclusive as possible because obviously independence for Scotland is a huge part of my life.

One of the reasons why I made it onto the list was my activism and politics as well as my sporting achievements and it’s something that is really driving me forward. So probably the biggest thing that has changed is the fact that I’ve launched a podcast called The Blether Cast, which you can find on all the normal podcasting places and I’ve really been focusing on trying to hear people’s voices, not just about independence, but also about what they’re doing with their life. I’ve had TikTokers on, I’ve had politicians on and it has been quite successful so far.

What has been your highlight of 2021 and what are your plans for 2022?

The highlights for 2021 for me were firstly being able to give my opinions on The Disability Power 100. I think I found out the tail end of 2020 that I had been asked to be a judge and then things really kicked off in the beginning of 2021, so that was brilliant, and obviously the Scottish parliamentary election which was a huge highlight for me. The SNP winning the election by a landslide and then being able to focus my energies on the podcast. I would probably say those three things would be my highlights of the year so far.

With regards to 2022, I’ve just started or I’m just about to start a new job. I can’t say who with yet because it’s not been confirmed but it’s in the third sector and I’m really, really excited about it. I hopefully will be able to pursue that through 2022 and further. For 2022, I do plan to stand in the Scottish Council Election. So, that would be something that I’m looking forward to as well.

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