“My name is Mark Deal and I am Director of Work, Quality & Governance at Enham Trust. I have worked here since 1986”.
Make a difference
After graduating from university, I was headhunted by Enham Trust and joined the finance team as the Sales Ledger Controller. There were few opportunities for disabled people to work in 1986, so I grabbed the chance. I was delighted but terrified in equal measure; however that was a long time ago.
Today, I have two separate teams in my Directorate; Quality & Governance and Employment & Skills. In total over thirty people work within this Directorate bringing a vast amount of skills, knowledge and enthusiasm.
My governance role helps to keep the organisation and its people safe and legal. It is not always the most exciting area, but it can have a very big impact.
As the Director responsible for Employment & Skills, I work with the team who enable disabled and disadvantaged people to enter into sustainable, paid work. There is nothing more important than being employed and assisting disabled people to live full and active lives.
A lot of my time is spent writing and reading various reports and papers, so it is always enjoyable when I get to spend time with colleagues, clients and learners, hearing their news. There is always a good news story to be heard that reminds me why our work is important. I am very proud of the team’s achievements.
Meaningful place in society
With the job, Enham Trust offered me housing and as a consequence a meaningful place in society.
Every day, I come to work to help make a difference to someone else, but through my job at Enham Trust I have been able to develop myself. I have been able to achieve a MSc. in Disability Management and rehabilitation, a Ph.D in Disability Studies, I’m an NVQ Internal Verifier/Assessor and qualified to teach in Further and Adult Education.
On arrival at work in the morning I often have a chat with one our clients, Svend, as my email uploads; but whilst my early morning work routine is often the same, whatever I plan to do will change by the time, Svend, and I have finished speaking. However that is often a good thing, as I like variety.
Once a month we have an Executive Board meeting where we discuss a range of topics focusing on strategic issues for the organisation. We also meet with the Management team, monthly which links strategic discussion with operational issues.
Often, my work takes me to London for a variety of reasons usually meetings or conferences for which I travel to by train. If they are near Waterloo Station, such as meetings at the Department for Work and Pensions, if the weather is nice, then I prefer to ‘walk.’ This can sometimes be a challenge, not because of using a wheelchair, but because of the number of tourists taking photographs and blocking the pavement (I must have appeared in hundreds of peoples pictures by now). If I have to travel elsewhere, Heather, our Enham Trust mini-bus driver, often drives me in the Berlingo; we have been all over the country in that little red car.
Being part of the decision making process
I have seen a lot of changes since I was the Sales Ledger Controller, back when computers were only just being introduced to the charity (that makes me sound very old). Disabled people are now much more part of the decision making process, whether that is in relation to our own lives or to do with the charity. I am proud of what we have achieved so far and I am really excited to be part of the team that will take Enham Trust to its next phase.