Langdon’s credo is to help adults with learning difficulties to lead independent lives. So it is appropriate that the charity has involved members in organising its annual dinner, being held later this month.
They have been integral to its planning, engaged at every stage from food tastings and menu selection to filming and editing the appeal video. On the night, a Langdon member will introduce each speaker.
Marc Butcher, 37, from Borehamwood is one of those involved in the planning, taking a central role in shooting the appeal video.
“It is the first time I’ve ever done any filming in my life,” he explains cheerfully at New Chapters, a Langdon social enterprise retailing second-hand books online.
“I worked closely with the video team and learnt how they edit. It has been really good because I love technology.”
Mr Butcher has enjoyed filming with fellow member Robert Bluestone, who has Asperger syndrome and struggles with stress and pressure.
“I’ve been filming daily vlogs that are going to be used in the Langdon video,” Mr Bluestone said.
The 20-year-old has found the experience “really interesting. I’m also training for a half-marathon and I have filmed myself doing that, too.”
For Avi Raymin, 23, involvement has come with the life lesson that not all footage makes it into the finished product.
“I filmed hours of stuff that isn’t even being used. But that is how it goes. I’m still excited about the night and what we have done.”
Is he nervous about the responsibility? “That word is not in my dictionary.”
Edgware-based Matthew Rose, 39, helped design the dinner invitations, featuring a selection of stories about Langdon members. “I visited the printers and thought it was positive to be involved. It has been amazing to see the invitations come together.”
Joelle Vaughan, 31, was handed the responsibility of checking out the venue and making decisions on how the room should look.
“It was great to visit the venue because it was very fancy and I got to pick where the stage was going to go,” she says. “I had to think about the audience and who could see what.”
Ms Vaughan, who works at New Chapters, also liaised with the creative agency designing the dinner brochure. “They make everything look so good.”
Amanda Strong, 49 — who was in charge of sending out invitations — says it has been “amazing to be involved. We have really worked like a team.” Jamie Pash, Sarah Merriman and Alex Keston have also been involved in the dinner’s planning.
Lillie Marks, Langdon’s marketing and communications executive, adds that as well as the initiative being a chance for members to learn new skills, it demonstrates the charity’s family ethos. “We want the night to belong to them and show other people that it is not just another charity dinner with speakers. Guests will be able to meet our service users and see first-hand how Langdon helps them.”