Congratulations to Scott Cheater on being appointed Trustee for the Executive Committee at East Kent Mencap. We spoke to him about his expectations and ambitions for his new role.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I have 6 dogs and enjoy going for walks with them along the beach in winter. On Wednesdays I go to Snooker Club. When I first came to GOLD I said I would like to go to Snooker and now there is about twelve of us that go to Northdown Road Snooker Club. I would like to see if people would like to come to Bugsy’s with me on a Monday afternoon with me to do bowling. This is something we could do independently.
What made you apply for the role?
I wanted to help and find out more about how East Kent Mencap works. I would like to help people with their problems. I had a lot of problems with housing and debt and with benefit forms. Since I have been going to GOLD I have started to speak up for myself and am more independent.
How was your first meeting?
Fine. I need to have my DBS done so I had to sit in the kitchen and eat cake for a little while! The meeting was quite long. At the beginning Claire explained how the meeting worked and told me to put up my hand if anything didn’t make sense. I can’t talk about what happened at the meeting because it’s confidential!
Was it what you were expecting?
Yes it was what I was expecting. I have been to meetings before.
What do you think you’ll gain through being on the committee?
Find out about what East Kent Mencap can do. I might be able to help them to get more money to do more things. I haven’t had a job before and being on the committee might help me get further on, to learn some new skills and even get a job one day.
As a person with a learning disability on the committee, what’s the most important thing you’d like to address with the board?
I would like to see more people with a learning disability getting help and support that they need. There are a lot of places that offer help but it’s not always easy for people with a learning disability to use them. I would like to campaign and make sure people with a learning disability have the same rights as everyone else, like voting. I had never voted before and the GOLD Project helped me to register and I went to vote for the first time all by myself.
What advice would you give to someone who might like to apply to be on the committee in the future?
If you want to do something, just do it – don’t be shy! If you want help to feel more confident you can go to the Drop-in at The GOLD Office on Wednesdays between 10am and 2pm and they might be able to help.