Dedicated staff from learning disability services and charities have been recognised for their work in the Queen’s New Year Honours List.
Those who have been given an award include people who have worked with self-advocates with learning disabilities, and as heads of charities and headteachers of special schools.
Jayne Leeson, chief executive of Changing Our Lives, received an MBE for services to people with learning disabilities. In 2002, Leeson supported a group of self-advocates with learning disabilities to establish the charity. Since then, she has worked alongside self-advocates to develop Changing Our Lives into an organisation that is recognised locally and nationally for its best practise and key areas of work such as Quality of Life standards and the People's Parliaments.
Elsewhere, Aideen Jones from Seaford, who recently retired as chief executive of Southdown Housing Association, received an OBE for services to people with learning disabilities. Jones spent her entire career in social care services and said she is proud of the past 25 years supporting people with learning disabilities to get the lives they wanted for themselves.
“Although this is a fantastic personal accolade it could not have been achieved alone and I would like to pay tribute to all the people I have worked with and the people with learning disabilities who have let us share their journeys,” she said.
Also, John Lloyd, chairman of the Edward Lloyd Trust, a Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based charity that supports children and adults with learning disabilities, received an OBE for services to young people with intellectual disabilities.
“I am incredibly chuffed as you might imagine but more importantly it is a massive endorsement of the work and achievements of the organisation and the people who work and support it today and over so many years,” he said in a statement on the Edward Lloyd Trust website.
Other people to be recognised included:
• John Phillips, co-chair, Learning Partnership Board, Isle of Wight, who was awarded an MBE for services to people with learning disabilities. He has learning problems and dyslexia and founded John’s Club on the Isle, which provides services and activities for children and adults with learning disabilities
• Anne Villiers, chairman of the Westminster Society for People with Learning Disabilities, also received an MBE for services to people with learning disabilities
• Helen Dalton-Hare, chief executive of About with Friends, a Norfolk-based charity that offers children, young people and adults with learning disabilities the chance to lead the lives they choose, received an OBE for services to people with learning disabilities
• Ken Radford, who founded horticultural scheme People and Gardens, which supports people with learning disabilities at the Eden Project in Cornwall, received a British Empire Medal. He told the Cornish Guardian that he was “a little bit amazed” when he found out about the award
• Brian Marsh from Cleethorpes received a British Empire Medal for charitable services to education therapy for children with physical and intellectual disabilities. He is chairman of the Humberston Hydrotherapy Pool committee and has raised nearly £1 million in the past 20 years
• Kathryn Rudd, principal of the National Star Specialist College, received an OBE for services to further education for young adults with learning difficulties. The college, which Rudd has been principal of since 2010, has 20 16 to 18-year olds and 125 aged 19-plus and received an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted in 2012
• Shirley-Ann Crosbie, headteacher of The Chiltern School in Caddington, Bedfordshire; Sally Davies, headteacher of Thriftwood Special School in Chelmsford, and Gareth Williams, principal of West Kirby Residential School, all received OBEs for services to children with special needs education
• Thomas Lee received an MBE for services to children with special needs in Cheshire
• Christopher Evans, founder of the Butterfly Garden, was awarded the British Empire Medal for his services to young people with special needs. The garden offers children and students with learning disabilities the opportunity to learn gardening and land skills.