Celebrating the achievements of people with learning disabilities in Hertfordshire

Published: 13 Apr 2018


Seas of smiles and applause filled the room when Susan Leadbetter was crowned Hertfordshire’s Learning Disability Personality of the Year at the recent Rumble Awards ceremony.

The Rumble Awards are held annually, organised by The Pioneer Spirits (a Pioneer Approaches project) who themselves have learning difficulties, the ceremony is an opportunity to share stories and experiences and to recognise the positive influence people with learning disabilities and differences have on all our lives in Hertfordshire.

The celebration is supported by Hertfordshire’s Learning Disability Partnership Board, a co-produced board which includes people with learning disabilities, family carers, Hertfordshire County Council’s adult care services, health services, community and voluntary organisations, education providers, job centres and advocacy services.

Overall winner, Susan Leadbetter, recently fell down some stairs and broke her neck, she then suffered a cardiac arrest; during her time in hospital recovering, Susan had a tube in her throat to help her breathe but it prevented her from talking. Susan’s award nomination said:

Susan showed incredible determination to make her needs and wishes known by writing notes to all the doctors and nurses; these sometimes took a while for people to understand but Susan never gave up or got cross. Susan has had an operation to repair her neck and following quite a long stay in respite she is now finally home and working incredibly hard to regain her independence.

Charlotte, her community nurse, told us that she feels incredibly proud of Susan and all that she has achieved.”

The Rumble Awards started in 2011, in honour of the late Keith Rumble, the idea behind the awards is to celebrate individuals who, like Keith, deserve an award for exceeding all expectations and enhancing the lives of others in the process. The Pioneer Spirits formed a group, The Rumbles, to spread happiness just like Keith Rumble did. They are ‘complimentary therapists' who serenade people with songs and pay people compliments. They design and host the event, create new songs and dances and vote and decide who the ultimate winner will be.

Iain MacBeath, Director of Adult Care Services, said:

“The Rumble Awards are always a privilege to be a part of and this year’s event was no exception, all of the team did a fantastic job of organising and entertaining guests, it was a great evening.”

“We want to make sure that we build an inclusive county and we work hard to make sure all our residents have the opportunity to be valued members of our communities. These awards are an excellent way to showcase the contribution people with learning disabilities can and are making in Hertfordshire.” 

The winners and categories for the Rumble Awards are:

  1. The Brave Heart Award: For people who have overcome challenges and/or difficulties
    Susan Leadbetter, Malcolm Rowe, Rebecca Mansfield, Edward Gilham and Gary Haycroft
  2. The Good Spirit Award: For people who are fun to be around
    Saskia Herdman, Jaqueline Whelan, Luke Vickers, Andrew Yorke, Sam Precious, Dennis Cox and Kimberley Henson
  3. The Healthy Living Award: For people who have made a difference to their own health, or to the health of others
    Ben Smith and David Joyce
  4. The Richard Blake Leading Light Award: Showing a way to make the lives of people with learning disabilities better  
    Christopher Pickering, Chris Murphy, Dawn Leatherland, Janice Wilkinson and Shaun Noke

For more information about the Hertfordshire Disability Partnership Board and how you can get involved visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/ldpb

ENDS