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Bill Learmonth

Bill Learmonth - ENABLE Volunteer​​

Bill Learmonth, from Baillieston, is an inspiration, having volunteered for ENABLE Scotland for more than 45 years. Bill’s daughter Lesley has Down’s syndrome and he has seen society’s changing attitude towards disability over the years. Bill believes ENABLE Scotland’s work has helped to change people’s attitudes so they see the person and not just the disability.

“There was a time when people with learning disabilities were quite definitely separated from the wider community. They were separated in all aspects of their lives; health, education and socially. But gradually people thought it was appropriate to bring them back into the community.  I was one of the young parents who were saying it was time we closed the long stay hospitals. There was no way I was allowing my daughter to go into an institution,” said Bill.

Bill has worked tirelessly to promote the work of ENABLE Scotland and to improve the lives of people who have learning disabilities. Volunteering with the organisation for over 45 years, in 2012 Bill was named Scotland’s Charity Champion by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations. Bill was instrumental in setting up the Baillieston branch of ENABLE and has been chairperson of ENABLE Scotland twice. He was also trustee of the organisation from 2005-2011, as well as devoting countless hours to many other initiatives and committees.

ENABLE Scotland has become like a second family to Bill. He is often the person others turn to when they need support and advice.  When he ran his business, Bill often spent long hours on the road.  It was during these journeys that he realised how many good friends he had made through his association with the charity.

“I once thought about this – if I drove from John O Groats to Stranraer, I would never be more than 15 miles from somebody I knew. That was because of the people within the branches you got to know,” said Bill. 

The “people of ENABLE” as Bill calls them, are the most important aspect for Bill. “My real feeling around this organisation is that we’ve been so blessed with the people who have been involved in it. They have been the inspiration for me.”


Find out more about volunteering with ENABLE Scotland​ here.​

ENABLE Scotland,INSPIRE House,3 Renshaw Place,Eurocentral,N Lanarkshire,ML1 4UF.Tel: 01698 737 000. Registered Charity Number SC009024

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