Leigh Hutchings – POhWER Trustee


my name’s Leigh Hutchings amongst my roles
I’m a trustee of POhWER I’m also chair of Disability Watford which is an access group
based obviously in Watford I’m also chairman of the local talking newspaper for the blind
and I’ve had a few other trusteeships all to do with disability my background is was in engineering
I started out as a motorcycle mechanic and car mechanic and I went to the doctors one
day and they said you’ve got this eye condition that you’ll go blind by the time you are 40
I thought he was lying but he wasn’t so gradually my eyesight went and obviously I couldn’t
carry on being a mechanic so and nobody wants to employ a bind person as most people know
so I ended up working in the voluntary sector and obviously the word got around that Leigh’s
quite good at this so I was asked to join more and more organisations some of them are
national some of them are county some of them local POhWER come to me via one of the founding
members well I worked with two or three of the founding members before I’d even really
heard of POhWER and I asked them what else they did and they told me about POhWER so
I looked on the internet and saw what POhWER was and didn’t think anymore of it and then I
think it must have been a couple of years later one of them said you know we need people
like you on the board would you consider coming on board so I agreed to and I put my name
forward went through one of the hardest interviews I think I’ve ever been through to become a
trustee of POhWER it’s as I say I worked in the field of disability and it just seems
a natural link to my other work my contacts obviously work for POhWER and vice a versa
my knowledge of the county is pretty good maybe second to nun around visual impairment
in the county so I thought I could bring something to POhWER and obviously POhWER has brought
something to me as well my role on the board is I guess as a general troublemaker I do
like asking questions where sometimes they are maybe not welcome but I like to think
I’m one of the ones keeping POhWER well where it should be in the eyes of the disabled and
not looking like a large company I’ve just joined in the audit and risk comity on one
or two pieces of work and the local community of POhWER is where my heart is getting disabled
people working with POhWER and POhWER working with disabled people and groups linked to
it POhWER’s at a situation at the moment with opportunities and risk I mean we can risk
our reputation by looking as a big corporate thing rather than your local charity but opportunities
well there’s gonna be new opportunities out there with all the grants and
commissioning change and disabled people getting more ways of being part of the community especially
around direct payments and brokerage and all that sort of thing theres a lot of opportunities
out there to help disabled people but then theres a lot of risk involved with it as well

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