National award for co-founder of Lincolnshire disability charity

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The co-founder of a Lincolnshire learning disability charity has been recognised for almost 40 years of service at a national awards ceremony.

Rex Richardson, Director of Care Services at Linkage Community Trust, was named the winner of the Outstanding Contribution honour at the National Learning Disabilities and Autism Awards 2015, in Birmingham.

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

Rex set up Linkage with colleagues Don MacKenzie and the late Dave Sampson to give a new future to young people with learning difficulties.

The judges were impressed by his record as a champion for disabled rights, especially in how he developed personalised services for clients and his fight to ensure that those with learning disabilities have the same rights as everyone else.

Rex said: “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.”

As Director of Care Services, Rex manages a service supporting more than 250 people in 70 properties across Lincolnshire and Staffordshire and assisting more than 80 people in job club and supported paid employment.

He also advised the government in developing the 2014 Care Act.

Linkage Chief Executive, Ges Roulstone, added: “The vision that Rex, Don and Dave had for learning disability continues to be valued some 40 years on.

“This award is so well deserved for Rex’s work as a champion and campaigner. The fact that he knows the background, skills and aspirations of every one of his clients encouraging them to continually progress speaks volumes.”