3 years ago I joined the Mencap Trust Company Board. I'm passionate about helping people with disabilities.
I like to give things a go and I want to help people. It is impossible to help everyone, but if I can make a big difference, or even a small difference to someone’s life I want to do that.
I think it is important to know what you can do, and not worry about what you can’t do.
I was nervous at my first Board meeting. I wasn’t sure if I was helping. But over the years I have become more and more confident and now I am sure I am making differences to people’s lives.
I am very strong on what helps people with physical disabilities. I have good ideas about how to help. I am not strong on numbers or money, but my other Board members have good ideas about those things.
An important part of being on the Board is to consider trust requests. I find it difficult to reply quickly on e-mail, so when there is a request I prefer to talk it through on the phone. I always want to know what the other Board members think, but I make my own decision.
Joining the Board has been a great opportunity for me. Over the last 3 years I have grown to be very comfortable in my role, and I am getting better and better at it. I have learned a lot about confidentiality. I thought I understood confidentiality, but being on the Board has really hammered it home. My friends ask me what I do on Mencap Trust’s Board but I explain that I can’t really say.
I enjoy being an ambassador for Mencap Trust Company and meeting beneficiaries and their families.
Julie Schwarz TEP – Trust Director
"Ed is the first person with learning difficulties that I have been accountable to. Over the years we have learned a lot about each other, and Ed has taught me a lot about myself. Working with Ed for the last 3 years means that I am better at running the Mencap Trust Company. I’ve learned a lot about the strengths that come from people’s differences, and about listening.
These lessons are transferrable. If you are having a meeting, try building in short regular breaks. If you are writing a paper, try summarising it on to 2 sides of easy read. You won’t believe the difference."