My name is David McConnell and I was Chair of the Board from 2017 to 2019.
My inspiration to become a Trustee was mainly driven by my parental experience as the father of a 20-year-old son with Down’s Syndrome. I would like families who have children with a disability to have more choice about what their children can do. It must be safe, it should be fun, and it needs to give the families a break from the extra stresses and strains that having a child with a disability imposes. There are lots of reasons why our children may be socially isolated, but I am primarily focused on the solutions and provision of opportunities that can help to remedy this issue.
I bought a certain business geekiness to what I did at Accuro due to my business background and 15-year experience on senior leadership committees at several learning disability charities. I believe that for an organisation like ours to thrive, for the clubs and projects to flourish, you need good business systems. You need a strategy that most people buy into, strong finances and good financial reporting, good governance at Board level and in an organisation with a lot of part-time staff, strong HR. When I arrived at Accuro there was plenty to do in these areas and we’ve come a long way to make them better. As always there’s plenty more to do and no room for complacency, but as a past Accuro Chair, I’ve certainly been happy and able to play my part in all those things.
In the end what continues to inspire me about Accuro is the people. The Trustees who come and give their best to make Accuro a better place and staff who build on the Board’s ideas and participate in running the clubs to help our service users. I’m also inspired by the volunteers, who come in and give their time and expertise so generously to make Accuro a better place, as well as the families, many of whom are in a similar boat to me. Our service users also inspire me as they change lives for the better and make the world a better place to be in.