Being a Non-Executive Director: Peter’s story

Posted 27/06/2017

Peter is a Non Executive Director for Thera South West. As part of the Board, Peter uses his experience of having a learning disability to ensure that Thera South West is led and managed well.

Peter Hawkins Non Executive DirectorSince becoming a Non Executive Director, Peter has been learning new skills which have included:

  • Travelling independently
  • Networking with other people
  • Presentations
  • Leading on meetings

Peter’s career aspiration is to develop himself further so becoming a Non Executive Director was a fantastic way of doing this. He has previously been involved in Dorset People First and The Friendship Club.

Peter’s proudest achievement since becoming Non Executive Director is being able to travel independently. Peter told us about the first time he travelled to London alone:

“It was my first time travelling to London on the train by myself. I felt nervous. I didn’t know anyone and wasn’t sure where to go when I got to the London Underground. It was a bit of a nightmare! I asked for help from the customer assistance team. They also had people helping on the platform.

When I was travelling, I got talking to a lady who suggested a route for me. It is great being able to speak to new people because you find out useful information from them.

If you are travelling alone, I would recommend you plan your journey. Make sure you know where you want to go.

Make sure you get assistance in place before you travel. If you run into problems try not to panic because you are in the same boat as everybody else.

Travelling alone is a learning curve. Try not to get stressed or upset. Stay calm and think of another way. I have travelled to London by myself three times now and I am really proud of myself.”

Peter’s favourite part of being a Non Executive Director is the travelling and the networking.

Here are some of Peter’s top tips for people with a learning disability who are thinking about becoming a Non Executive Director:

  • Be involved and have your say
  • Get the training you need
  • Have confidence in yourself
  • Do your own research – being a Non Executive Director is a 4 year commitment
If you would like information about becoming a Non Executive Director please contact Tarnya Thompson on 0300 303 1280 or

Find out more about Thera South West