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Five minutes with a Deafblind UK Trustee

Ruth Bridgeman

To celebrate National Trustees Week, we spoke to Deafblind UK Trustee Ruth Bridgeman…

What does your role as a Trustee involve?

Being a Trustee for Deafblind UK means I am on the board, so I regularly go to board meetings and I’m part of some sub committees that recommend changes and improvements to the organisation. I am here to work with and support the senior management group to make strategic decisions.

Why did you choose to become a Trustee?
I am recently retired and had some spare time so I thought it would be something new and exciting to take on.

Why Deafblind UK?
I was particularly interested in Deafblind UK as it is a membership organisation and helps people. Most importantly it helps people to help themselves, which is really important in my opinion.

I feel that there are so many causes out there that dual sensory loss can be overlooked by supporters. So I felt this cause deserved my time over any other.

What’s the best thing about being a Trustee for Deafblind UK?
The best thing is knowing that what I’m doing is making a real difference to deafblind people. Being a Trustee can take up as little or as much time as you want. It draws you in, but what I like is that it is flexible.

What’s the worst thing about it?
Knowing that there’s so much that can be done but only so many hours in the day!

Tell us about your career

Before retiring I worked within Cancer Services, in particular the Cancer Action Team. I was the National Programme Director for Cancer Peer Review at NHS England and had frontline contact with cancer patients.

I think this is what appealed to me about Deafblind UK; it is similar to my previous work in that we are supporting people to live with a health condition.

Do you volunteer for any other charities?
Not at the moment, I want to give as much time to Deafblind UK as I can. But in the past I have volunteered for Cancer Research UK.

What do you get up to outside of work?
I have recently taken up gardening and have just bought a greenhouse. I’m currently growing chillies, tomatoes and cucumbers – it’s such fun! I used to live in London so gardening was never really an option but now I am fortunate enough to have a lovely garden.

I also support Leicester Tigers and Sheffield Wednesday.

What makes you happy?
Family and friends.

What annoys you?
My weakness is I am impatient, so laziness and not getting things done annoys me. My saying would be ‘do yesterday what you could have done today’!

What do you want for Christmas?
Chocolate!
I don’t need anything; my life time goal was to have a dog which I have now achieved. I’m not really a Christmas fan, but I do love a real Christmas tree, especially for the smell.

Which three famous people would you invite to a dinner party?
Eddie Jones, the England rugby manager. I would like to talk to him about England winning the world cup in Japan. Roger Daltrey from The Who, so he can sing, and Harrison Ford.

What’s your favourite TV program?
Greys Anatomy

Who’s your favourite Leicester Tigers player? (we know you’re a fan!)
Johnny May

Sum yourself up in three words
Blood, Sweat, Tears