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Clare Clements Leadership Testimonial

My journey started when I attended a Radar Seminar in Manchester in February about encouraging disabled people to apply for public appointments and what was involved. 

The event was very interesting and I found out about the leadership programme which I applied for a few weeks later and received notification of being accepted on the programme in August.  David Stocks’ speech was inspirational and set me thinking that it was time to do something about my career path.

I had been in the civil service for over 20 years, was going nowhere and feeling very frustrated that what I had to offer the world was not being used.  I was doing a low grade clerical job that was not providing enough stimulation.  I kept myself busy by being involved in my trade union and being a member of my department’s disability advisory group.  Although I have Turners Syndrome, a chromosomal condition that occurs in 1-2500 live female births which results in short stature, infertility and hearing problems, among other health issues, I had a degree in Librarianship and I was going nowhere and felt my face would never fit in the Civil Service.

As a result of the seminar I received notification of public appointments in Wales as I live in Cardiff and the opportunity arose to apply for a position on the Cardiff and Vale Community Health Council.  I applied and to my surprise was invited to interview in Merthyr Tydfil.  The interview lasted about half an hour and was fairly informal.  To my further surprise I had a letter a couple of weeks later appointing me and I attended my first meeting in October.  I hope this will provide the opportunity to influence healthcare practice in Wales for the benefit of all disabled people particularly those with rare genetic conditions.   At the end of September I took severance from the Civil service in order to change direction and find a role where my health condition is an advantage and not a hindrance.

What attending the programme has given me is tools that will be useful in achieving my goal and focus in what I want to do and belief that I can do it.  I found the coaching valuable in achieving this.