“Paul is a great campaigner and a great friend. We work really hard together and have achieved some great things.” Paul’s colleague Shaun.
If you live with a learning disability in Oxfordshire, the chances are that Paul will be making a difference to your life in some way…
- Perhaps you’re a regular at his ‘Stingray’ club night.
- Perhaps he’s supported you directly with travel training or Care and Treatment Review assessments as part of his work with My Life My Choice.
- Perhaps he’s trained the professionals who support you
- Perhaps his film about hate crime has changed local attitudes and reduced stigma.
- Perhaps his relentless lobbying of local councillors and MPs has helped them connect with local people better
- Or perhaps, through his regular volunteering with homeless charity SWAT, he has reminded you that people with learning disabilities have much to offer to others.
Paul is a strong and influential advocate for better lives for people with learning disabilities across Oxfordshire who has featured on lots of news programmes including BBC Breakfast, and is frequently found on marches and protests, lending his voice to campaigns such as JusticeforLB, Homes Not Hospitals and many more.
He is a trustee of My Life My Choice – he has worked for the charity for 12 years. A down to earth, friendly and helpful guy, Paul can often be found helping colleagues in the office.
Following his experience of a hate crime attack, he also now sits on the Thames Valley Police board.
As well as having a learning disability, Paul has difficulty hearing and was abused as a child. As an adult, he suffered with poor mental health and had a breakdown which resulted in him being hospitalised. Paul is always very open about his story and the terrible things that have happened to him, and through this he hopes to challenge stigma and let other people know they are not alone.
Most of all, Paul has learned the power of kindness. He is always on hand to help out other members who might need it, or to be a friend to anyone who is lonely.
How does it feel to be a Learning Disability and Autism Leader?
“I’m proud to be elected a leader because I’ve never been nominated for anything like this before and it is nice to be celebrated for the work I do, and have people see that people with learning disabilities can speak up too.”