Herts learning disability awards honour Colney Heath FC project attendees

Ben Smith and Shaun Noke with their awards. Picture: Herts County Council.

Ben Smith and Shaun Noke with their awards. Picture: Herts County Council. - Credit: Archant

Hertfordshire’s learning disability awards has honoured two people who attend a project based at Colney Heath Football Club.

Shaun Noke and Ben Smith were recognised at the Rumble Awards for their work at The Inclusion Project, which helps people with learning difficulties be included in society.

The quality assurance manager at the project, Dr Denise Jackson, said: “Ben and Shaun had the night of their lives. Shaun did not put the award down all evening and he cried at all the lovely things said about him. He is amazing as he is pretty much blind but manages often without his white stick and hence comes across as if he is sighted.”

Shaun has autism and a degenerative eye condition and cataracts, but has been so supportive of other people at the project he has been made an ambassador, with responsibility for looking after social media and helping to organise events. He was given the award for being an outstanding ambassador.

Ben has a Down Syndrome-related heart condition and would like to train to be support worker with the project, and has already made himself a staff card and lanyard. He too has been made an ambassador for his work.

Due to his condition, Ben took up regular exercise and cooking and was awarded for being a good health hero.

The Rumble Awards are held to celebrate people with learning disabilities who exceed expectations and improve the lives of others, and are run by the Pioneer Spirits, which was started at the Pioneer Club in St Albans and run by people with learning difficulties.

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Herts County Council’s director of adult care services Ian MacBeath 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 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.”

To find out more about the awards, visit www.rumbleawards.co.uk