Following the thoughts of Berni on being an Ambassador for the Strengthening Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations Programme, her fellow Ambassador Mark Baggley (from Choices & Rights) has also written a few thoughts, shared below:
I was pleased to be appointed as one of the ODI’s Ambassadors for the Strengthening DPULOs Programme.
The Ambassador Day – when all 12 Ambassadors came together for the first time – led to some interesting discussion,s as well as giving all the new Ambassadors the opportunity to come together and meet for the first time.
As well as the debates about what our roles could cover, how we can be most effective and how the Facilitation Fund can be put to best use to strengthen DPULOs, there was also the lighter side during the ice breaker sessions.
For example, we discovered amongst our group that our personal experiences included:
- Someone who used to be in a Karen Carpenter Tribute band
- An individual who had been involved in bomb disposal
- A fan of Bollywood soap operas
- Someone who’s sister is friends with comedian Peter Kay.
Surely, with that range of experiences, plus our experiences of disability issues and organisations, we should be able to deal with just about anything!
Some perspectives from other Ambassadors can be heard on Audioboo (captured in my Storify post here).
Update: Mark was also featured in his local newspaper talking about the programme: article here.