Michael Hagan is a trustee who has personal experience of living with a learning disability.
What’s important to you about The Advocacy Project?
“I’ve been using services at The Advocacy Project since 2012. I spend time raising awareness of the charity’s advocacy work and recruiting members to join our user groups. It’s really important to me that I support people with learning disabilities to have a say in their services.
I think it is vital that people who use our services learn from each other and share their experiences. I’m keen for us to run a project that brings together people from each of the three service areas – mental health, learning disabilities and dementia – to learn and raise awareness.”
What do you like about being on the Board of Trustees?
“The Advocacy Project supports me to prepare for each board meeting beforehand. This allows me to ask questions about the agenda and think through each of the key items. The board meetings are inclusive so everyone is able to share their views and thoughts.
One of my key strengths at the board table is communication. It can be a challenge to make sure people understand me, and I’m good at thinking outside the box to communicate in other ways. For example, I can paint a detailed picture by asking questions that prompt people to build up a story or concept.”
What else do you do?
“Away from The Advocacy Project, I run a video company producing films for different clients including charities. I work with three other members of staff, who each have a disability. Our aim is to get more disabled people in front of the camera and in working environments. In my role as a trustee, I’m going to produce a video for The Advocacy Project to promote its work.
In my spare time I volunteer as a youth worker in Sloane Square, and I volunteer for a charity in East London which runs music classes for those with disabilities.
My hobbies are listening to music, creative writing and watching films. I also love travelling and have spent time in Sweden, Spain, Greece, France, Switzerland, Germany and Ghana.”