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Shaping the future of Mencap Trust Company

24 August 2017
Ed Wadsworth

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."

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