My DuoDay with ENABLE’s CEO

April 26, 2018 Blog - ENABLE Scotland Dylan Morrissey

Today, I had the chance to shadow ENABLE Scotland CEO Theresa Shearer as part of DuoDay.

DuoDay highlights the positive contribution people who have disabilities make at work. We were one of 2,000 “duos” across Europe as SUSE (Scottish Union of Supported Employment) marked this day in Scotland for the first time, with a special focus on leadership.

I’ve worked as an Administration Assistant with ENABLE Scotland since last August, and this was a great chance to learn more about the working day of a charity CEO.

In the morning, we met Impact Arts Director Fiona Doring. Theresa is also the Chair of Impact Arts, and having won a major fundraising award last year, Impact Arts have agreed to help ENABLE Scotland with fundraising ideas.

I learned that just like ENABLE Scotland, Impact Arts has one of the lowest gender pay gaps in the country, with female employees actually being paid slightly more than men. This is a really important issue to make sure employers are treating all their staff fairly.

I suggested it would be good for ENABLE Scotland’s ACE Groups to hear more about Impact Arts and how this approach might help people. I also asked about Art Therapy and helping with the community arts project in Dennistoun, which I’d written a report about at high school. Fiona asked for a copy of my report to see what they could learn from it.

Next we had a meeting with ENABLE Scotland’s Fundraising Events and Engagement Manager, Jonathan Jack. He was briefing us about the Glasgow Kiltwalk which is being held on Sunday. Nearly 200 people are walking for ENABLE Scotland, and we hope to raise £20,000!

I learned that nearly 1,000 people are expected to walk for ENABLE Scotland in the 4 Kiltwalks across Scotland this year, and they could raise £100,000!

I told Jonathan I’m going to do the 13 mile Big Stroll at the Edinburgh Kiltwalk in September, and I’m planning to get lots of my friends involved to raise money for ENABLE Scotland!

It was really interesting to learn about all the hard work that’s involved in organising the Kiltwalk, and I saw how important it is that the CEO works closely with the fundraising team to build relationships with corporate partners – as well as seeing how full the CEO’s schedule is on the day!

Theresa and I had a working lunch with her Executive Assistant, Joanna Doyle, where we went over all the upcoming engagements in the CEO’s diary. I was surprised at how often the CEO needs to be available at evenings and weekends as well as ordinary business hours.

After lunch, we got a briefing from ENABLE Scotland’s Head of Campaigns, Policy and Activism, Kayleigh Thorpe. She told us National ACE and National ACE Youth are both meeting this Saturday, and there will be elections for their places on ENABLE’s Scottish Council.

I learned about all the campaigning and influencing work the team do to help build an equal society for every person who has a learning disability, and I found out how much work goes into arranging the agenda and speakers for a big event like this.

I really enjoyed spending the whole day shadowing Theresa, and it strengthened my ambition be an Executive Director one day. I’d particularly like my job to involve helping other people who have disabilities to get into work.

Theresa told me about a Quality Director who has learning disabilities and sits on the board of another charity, and I am going to get in touch with them to find out more.

I think the only thing to fear is fear itself! No-one who has a learning disability should feel like this means they can’t get a job or that they can’t be brilliant in a leadership role.

There shouldn’t be any barriers to people who have learning disabilities getting senior positions. In fact, there’s no reason why someone who has a learning disability couldn’t be a CEO!

Find out more about ENABLE Scotland’s work to develop the employment skills of young people who have learning disabilities.

Dylan Morrissey is an Administration Assistant for ENABLE Scotland

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