Maureen has been a member and supporter of GDA since before GDA even had funding and has done 2 terms on the Board. As a disabled person herself, Maureen recognises the barriers that disabled people face, stating that although some progress has been made, much more must be done. Maureen feels that this has unfortunately been highlighted by both COVID itself and the responses to it which have created even more inequalities for disabled people. Maureen is passionate about disabled people self organising in their own communities of identity with peer support, access and connections to opportunities to be heard and make decisions about services which affect us. She is an active member of GDA Drivers for Change and Social Care Expert Group and wider Social Care Experience Forum.
Maureen brings both professional and personal experience to her Governance role at GDA, and has many years’ experience attending board meetings, making collective decisions as a Trustee, and acting in GDA’s best interests at all times.
Before retiring Maureen worked with Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living as an expert trainer around disability equality. She has also previously volunteered for Ceartas who provide independent advocacy to adults living in East Dunbartonshire. Maureen studied through the Open University and has a Degree in Social Sciences which has provided another lens for understanding the causes of disability i.e. social, institutional and attitudinal barriers.
Maureen says “GDA plays an important role supporting you to move forward and learn more. There is the social side of it and I enjoy meeting people. If GDA wasn’t there I would be isolated, despondent and voiceless – and I know thousands of others would be the same. GDA provide good support, taxis, PA’s and great learning classes. If I was going anywhere on my own I need to phone ahead to make sure it is accessible and have to have someone with me. Going to GDA you know there is always going to be someone there to support you. You don’t need to worry about access and support when you get there. During COVID this has continued with access all being focused on making sure people are digitally connected and supported and we’ll carry this on when we’re back face to face!”
In her spare time Maureen enjoys spending time with her family, watching good period dramas like Downtown Abbey, music, reading and taking part in the Literature Appreciation course with GDA.