The first reason I wanted to become a Mencap trustee was to improve the relationship between Isle of Wight Mencap and the Royal Mencap Society, as I am a director at Isle of Wight Mencap. I also wanted to grow my experience of working in a large charity.

Being a trustee involves going to meetings, making sure that you look at the charities constitution, and making sure you are helping to run it correctly.

Being a Mencap trustee means a lot to me. It means I've had the chance to speak up in one of the top organisations for people with a learning disability and so we can change things together.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a trustee. I have enjoyed it and got a lot from it. It’s helped me look at other things I do and improve on my capabilities elsewhere. I really enjoyed the challenges and the learning and I’ve enjoyed going to Number 10 and other important places to talk about Mencap and be involved in that way. I've gained more experience. I've gained more confidence in challenging professionals and other groups, and it's made me think about how I work with people myself.

The best thing about being a Mencap trustee for me is to have got to a standard to be able to sit on a board that is really important in this country, and representing so many people.

What I bring to the board is my own personal experiences of local groups and people with learning disabilities. That's important because without that experience on the board you'd be making decisions that are not based on people's needs.

As a trustee with a learning disability, I have a unique perspective.

It's important to have a diverse board of trustees to be able to have good discussions around the table and come to more rounded decisions about difficult and complex problems.

Anybody can become a trustee, as long as they're honest. I think it is advisable to have some sort of experience of trusteeship or attending meetings.

I think the future for Mencap is very bright.

We've got a good executive team and a group of dedicated trustees who are really determined to move things forward. It's very, very positive.

My advice to anybody who is thinking about becoming a trustee is to make sure you've got time, make sure you get the right support, and don't be scared to speak up. Even if you think it's a silly question or you might be wrong. You can always say 'I'm sorry' after.

I’d like to thank Mencap for the experiences and the opportunities of meeting important people and going to important places like the Houses of Parliament, places I’d never have been to. On the whole the experience and the work I’ve done has been really enjoyable.

I’ve used the experiences I've gained as a trustee to empower other people.

I often insist that I take someone else to important meetings to give them what Mencap has given me. To be able to be with more important people and feel empowered to be there. That’s what you’ve got to spread. That helps people to move on.

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Our trustees

The people who have the most responsibility for how Royal Mencap Society is run are our trustee board. Meet our trustees here.
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Volunteering changed my life

Meet Gail, a volunteer from Abingdon.
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