Co-founder of Linkage wins big at national awards night

Rex Richardson has been awarded the 'Outstanding Contribution' honour at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2015. EMN-150522-171227001

Rex Richardson has been awarded the 'Outstanding Contribution' honour at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2015. EMN-150522-171227001

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The Linkage Community Trust - which has one of its branches based in Mablethorpe is celebrating a top national award.

The learning disability charity’s co-founder Rex Richardson was named the winner of the ‘Outstanding Contribution’ honour at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2015, held in Birmingham.

The award is presented to an individual who is judged to have made a long-term outstanding contribution to the lives of people with a learning disability and/or autism.

Rex says: “I feel very honoured to win such an award on behalf of a dedicated team at Linkage.

“For almost 40 years, we have played a huge part in the lives of people with learning difficulties, challenging decisions made by Government and taking steps into the unknown.”

Rex, the director of care services, set up Linkage almost 40 years ago with colleagues Don MacKenzie and the late Dave Sampson to give a new future to young people with learning difficulties.

The judges hailed Rex’s record of 40 years in Linkage as a champion for the rights of people with learning disabilities.

As a founder member of Linkage, his drive and commitment to establish high-quality education, care and vocational opportunities for clients has challenged and changed the way services are developed.

He developed personalised services before such person-centred planning was conceived.

He also fought for people with learning disabilities to have the same rights to a fulfilling life as everyone else – including a job – when attitudes were only beginning to change in the wake of the 1974 Education Act.