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Dr Rohhss Chapman says goodbye after a 30-year connection

Dr Rohhss Chapman was one of the founding members of People First back in 1990. She worked with a small group of adults with learning difficulties in an adult training centre in Carlisle to help them understand their rights and speak up for themselves.

Over 30 years later the organisation that she helped start, supported over 18,000 individuals last year. And it is at this time, when the impact of our work stretches across 3 counties, that Dr Rohhss Chapman is leaving her post at People First.

Whilst Rohhss hasn’t always worked in the organisation, taking time off to study for her PHD and to work as a senior lecturer at Manchester University she has always been a strong supporter and ally.

Her influence has helped to ensure that People First stays true to its organisational values and principles.

Rohhss has been a true friend and ally to people who have learning disabilities for all of that time, fighting for equal rights, choice and control for people over their own lives.

David Blacklock CEO said

"Rohhss has shaped and guided the organisation over many years. She has supported many many people to lead better lives, helped improve services and stood up for equal rights for people with learning disabilities.

Rohhss has published multiple times with influential books such as:

‘Standing in my shoes’-sexuality and relationships in the lines of people with intellectual disabilities (2014)

Exploring experiences of Advocacy by people with learning disabilities- Testimonies of resistance (2006)

On a personal level Rohhss was a major part of the reason I joined the organisation many years ago. She inspired me, challenged my thinking and encouraged me, I’m forever grateful to her."

Welcome to the team

Harry Harrison will be taking over from Rohhss in September as Director of Inclusion.

Harry has a proven track record of working with children, young people, adults with learning disabilities and or autism and their family carers.

Harry’s career started in the Royal Air Force as a physical trainer, then physiotherapist with paediatrics before managing the children’s physical health team in North Cumbria and becoming the children and Young Peoples Commissioning Manager for the Clinical Commissioning Group in Cumbria.

Looking ahead

We wish Rohhss well as she starts a new chapter of her story as a Psychotherapist in private practice and as a mother and grandmother spending some well-deserved extra time with her family.

We look forward to keeping in touch and continuing People First's mission to help more people live their lives the way they want to.