The trustees with learning disabilities make the big decisions about running MLMC. The trustee helpers provide advice and support to the trustees and help them to make the big decisions.
The trustee helpers are not advocates, don't have a vote at meetings, do not have an MLMC managerial role, and have no right to influence decisions.
Trustee helpers go to all trustee meetings to support the trustees. Trustees may ask the trustee helper for additional advice and assistance e.g. disciplinary issues with Charity Coordinator. On occasions a trustee helper may also be asked to provide guidance to the Charity Coordinator.
Who are the Trustee Helpers?
Ann has been a social worker and commissioner, working with adults who have learning disabilities for many years. She has worked with MLMC in lots of different ways, and was delighted to become a trustee helper in 2014.
Ann's brother has a learning disability and autism, and she supports and encourages him to have choice and control of his life.
Chris retired in 2015, after working in a variety of different social care services and for himself. He now spends his time playing saxophone, painting, gardening and with his four grandchildren.
Chris has been helping MLMC since working with President Michael Edwards on an original idea for a self-advocacy association in Oxfordshire during the early nineties.
Jan says: "I am proud to be a Trustee helper at My Life My Choice. I have observed and supported self-advocacy in England almost since it began, in the 1980s.
I believe that self-advocacy is more important than ever in a world where people with learning disabilities are too often left to manage with very little support or companionship.
Through being a Trustee helper I hope to continue to make a practical contribution to its continuing success, in Oxfordshire and beyond."