Ann joined BuDS in January 2017 after taking early retirement on medical grounds from her job as a university lecturer in learning disability (LD). She joined our Fair4All Services project, leading a project looking at how council and NHS austerity cuts are affecting services for LD people. BuDS traditionally has not done a lot of work in this area, but existing LD groups are finding it hard to advocate against bodies that are also their main funders, leaving BuDS as the only independent voice for LD people facing these cuts. Ann has found the company of other disabled people in BuDS very helpful as she adjusts to her own impairment.
Paul joined BuDS in 2015, one of several volunteers introduced to us by the NHS brain injury rehabilitation service. He lives successfully with his brain injury and works part-time in web design. His skills are exceptionally useful to us and he led in 2017 on the rehosting and updating of the BucksWorkability website. This gave him useful exposure to future contacts and we were able to help him in turn by giving references.
Andy, who is profoundly deaf, joined us after being made redundant from a successful career in financial compliance in the City. Despite his strong experience and advanced skills, agencies and employers refused to recruit him because of his deafness. Andy did fantastic work for BUDS researching potential grant funders, and we were very pleased to help him identify a more inclusive financial services firm, which quickly employed him.
Dave BuDS in 2014 as a Trustee after his spinal injury. A senior manager at an IT company, he has brought great experience and insight to BuDS, while also appreciating the mutual support within the charity for disabled people. He became Treasurer later in 2014 and has successfully put BuDS on a much more stable financial footing by a focus on sustainable fundraising and widening our funding base. Dave has also been able to increase our business and corporate partnerships through his network of contacts.
Sarah Joined Buds in September 2018 due to being out of work. She has had a severe brain injury and mental health difficulties but helping at BuDs has given her something to do that has positively influenced the community as well as looking good on a CV. Sarah has been involved in a research project on services for people with learning disabilities and has helped organise events on accessibility for disabled people. BuDs has been an encouraging responsibility for Sarah, ‘BuDS has helped to keep me focused on productive activity and has helped me to get out of bed some days. I am extremely grateful for the experience.’