The Essex Coalition for Disabled People or ECDP are a team committed to developing practical approaches to living with a disability. DG Ghazal Tipu catches up with Laura May, the ECDP Communications Executive Manager, to find out more about this organisation run by disabled people for disabled people, and the help it provides.
Why did you apply to work for ecdp?
I have been a fan of ecdp since I spoke at a member event several years ago, and when this role came up I jumped at the chance to apply. After several years working in marketing and communications, I wanted to use the skills I have developed in an organisation that shares my values and ethics.
What was it about the organisation that attracted you to it?
ecdp is run by disabled people, for disabled people, and this is why I was attracted to it in the first place. As someone who experiences a mental health condition, I feel that working for a User Led Organisation allows me to use my personal experience to make a difference to others.
How do you think that you can help your customers?
When someone contacts ecdp, they know we are here to help. The team we have is professional, friendly and always willing to go the extra mile, and I like to think I do this too. Personally, as someone who lives with a long term health condition, I believe I can empathise with our customers. My career so far has allowed me to bring new skills to ecdp, and to make our communications channels as accessible as possible, to as many people as possible. That is a really positive thing.
How are you finding your job so far?
The role I do as Communications Executive Manager means that I meet a lot of people who have amazing stories to tell, and I get to share these via our communications channels. It is inspiring to hear lived experience and then be able to write an article for our magazine, ecdp extra, or share it on social media and spread positive messages. The staff at ecdp really do make the workplace a great place to be as well, and the diverse range of services that we offer means there is never a dull moment!
Where have you come from?
I joined ecdp from the international accountancy body, ACCA. The world of disability is very different to the world of finance! In my career I have worked for a range of charities and corporate organisations, and I believe that good marketing and communication blends best practice from both types of company.
Can you tell me something about your background and what makes you tick?
I love to write, and I am a published poet and author, so this is what really makes me tick. I also volunteer for several mental health organisations as a public speaker, sharing my lived experience. I am very lucky that I can use my passions in my job at ecdp.
More information about ecdp can be found by visiting their website: http://www.ecdp.org.uk.
You can read Laura May’s creative writing and find more mental health resources at www.lauramay.org.
Photo courtesy of Laura May, www.lauramay.org.
Written by Ghazal Tipu