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Hertfordshire County Council

I am Gavin Howcroft - expert by experience for the purple star strategy and health liaison team.

I have a learning disability and it’s my job to train health professionals what it is like from my eyes as someone with a Learning disability. I do things like scope services seeing if any reasonable adjustments could be made. I talk to groups of health professionals about TEACH. Almost all the time I do the trainings I get feedback saying how it was useful to hear it from a man with a LD.

I love the work I do as I kind of feel like a rep for people with LD. I can look over an easy read document to see if people with LD would understand the information. I feel is important as if people can’t understand it how can they get the help they need?

The staff I work with are very helpful. I often get lifts to places so I don’t need to get stressed. I also get help with proof reading.

I help out at health events telling people what kind of work I do.

I also go to meetings like the disability board meetings and heath watch meeting giving advice and ideas. I have been an expert by experience now for 3 years. I enjoy every minute of it and I feel the work I do helps lots of people. Healthcare is getting better for people with learning disabilities. I hope I stay in this job line for the rest of my working days and maybe go in to other settings where I can help. If someone said to me 10 years ago “You are going be an expert by experience” I would never have believed them.