Back to The Learning Disability and Autism Leaders’ List 2018

Patricia Charlesworth

Category: Advocacy, policy and media

Professionals told Pat’s parents to 'send her to the institution. Don't expect much, she will achieve nothing.' They didn't listen

Making things better at 72 years old

72-year old Pat Charlesworth is a passionate, compassionate leader. She has worked throughout her life to support the rights of people with learning disabilities.

She is a member of the national network for palliative care for people with a learning disability. She has helped write NICE guidance on growing older with a learning disability.

She’s an active member of Hackney People First and on the partnership forum helping shape local best practice within the local authority.

She has worked with the Foundation for People with a Learning Disability (FPLD) for many years, chairing its Hate Crime project. She was on the teams that developed work on mutual caring, mental health, faith and spirituality, and actively supports carers with a learning disability themselves.

But it wasn’t always like this

Pat was born to a loving family but experienced the gross attitudes and beliefs of the day.

Professionals told Pat’s parents to ‘send her to the institution and don’t expect much as she will achieve nothing.’

Pat is proud (and fortunate) that her parents did not listen and helped her to be the strong knowledgeable, compassionate, charismatic leader she is today.

Advocacy LDA Leaders' List 2018

Any barriers to Pat’s success have been caused by systems, attitudes and the belief of many that a disabled life is worth nothing.

She has experienced at first hand institutionalisation and institutional thinking. Pat says she especially believes in informed choices as it is very important to be aware of the consequences when you do something.

In a nutshell…

Pat works tirelessly and always with a firm conviction that she wants people with learning disabilities to have independent lives filled with choice, support and equal rights, as she explains in her video.

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