Paul Wade support worker at Leep1 tells us about the organisation.

Describe Leep1 in a paragraph
Leep1 is a self advocacy group for adults with learning disabilitites that is run by adults with learning disabilities. The service enables people with learning disabilities to be in control of their own organisation and to fulfil their lives with meaningful and enjoyable activities, tailored for them.

What is the background to Leep1?
Leep1 stands for Leeds People First. The organisation was set up in 2010 as a Community Interest Company (CIC) and is service user led.

The idea of setting up a self advocacy organisation was so that adults with learning disabilities can share their experiences and speak up together so they can tell professionals what they want from the services they are using. By doing this it allows them be in control of their own lives.

What services do you provide / which projects do you deliver?
Leep1 provides a range of activities these include:

  • Laughter club – Monday
  • Accessible games galore – Tuesday
  • Creative hands – Wednesday
  • Photography and media group – Thursday
  • Walking group – Thursday
  • Gardening group – Friday
  • Campaigning
  • People First meetings – This is the steering group for Leep1 where members speak up and decide on what should be happening for Leep1 in the future. These meetings are held on a monthly basis.
  • Art and craft project
  • Office work – This includes answering phones, designing leaflets, creating PowerPoint presentations, petty cash, banking, processing mail, emailing, newsletter, website.
  • Public relations – Giving talks to interested groups and individuals about Leep1
  • Leep the Bridge club nights held at Tiger Tiger and other venues in Leeds on a monthly basis.

Who is on the team? (Staff and volunteers)
Leep1 has a small staff team and lots of help from volunteers and the People First Management Committee.

Mandy Haigh | Manager
Paul Wade | Support Worker

Tom Almond
Kuda Munetsi
Terry Bottomley
Tom Wardman
Nardos Kiflemariam

Management Committee
Susan Hanley | Chief Executive
Tony White | Chair
Chris Charlton | Vice Chair
Julie Hill | Secretary
Ian Buttery | Treasurer

What is the best thing about your job?
The best thing about my job is that I support adults with learning disabilities to speak up about issues that affect them e.g. campaigning to change the bus pass time so disabled people can use it before 9:30am.

Leep1 is service user led and every day is different because members choose what activities they would like to do and I get to support them to take part.

The Leep the Bridge club nights are also something I enjoy as I get to see how beneficial these nights are for adults with learning disabilities which makes me proud to be part of it.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?
Finding the right funding for a projects that we would like to run with is always a challenge as we may not always be successful on the piece of funding we have applied for.

If you had a super power what would it be and why?
If I had a superpower it would be to travel forward in time as this would give me an insight into what my career path is in the future and I would also get to see what kind of technology will be out in the future.

If you could give someone you know an award, who would it be and why would they deserve it?
If I could give someone an award it would have to go to Alan Hicks. This is because he always gives 100% commitment to whatever task he has been set.

Alan is very supportive of other members that attend Leep1 and he helps others who may be struggling with a task that has been set. If any events are coming up Alan is always willing to help out for example at the Leep the Bridge club nights.


August 2014