The Diverse Cumbria Awards have recently announced their nominees for this years ceremony. Lou who has worked with People First for the last 26 years and has been shortlisted in the Positive Role Model category.

The awards celebrate those making a push for equality and diversity across the county, helping Cumbria to be the most welcoming place to live, work and travel.

In 1993 Lou became a member of the People First family and joined the self advocacy group. Self Advocacy was the original focus for the organisation. People first wanted to empower people with learning disabilities to gain confidence in a supportive setting.

Lou did just that, quickly growing in confidence and has since then dedicated the last 26 years to speaking up and representing other people with learning disabilities to improve their lives.

Over the years, Lou’s achievements have paved the way for change and increased awareness both locally and nationally.

Building a network of women with learning disabilities across Cumbria, Lou has worked tirelessly to raise awareness and stand up for equality, human rights and individual choice.

As a member of the board of trustees at People First, Lou ensures the organisation is working in the best way for the people we serve.

Lindsay Graham, Advocacy Operations Manger said:

“Lou genuinely cares and gives her time to help people, even when she doesn’t realise the positive impact she will have.

Lou has supported me to develop my own values, beliefs and practices with regards to equality and diversity and is well respected amongst her peers.

We wish Lou the best of luck, thank you for all that you bring to People First we are very grateful.The awards will be announced on Friday the 17th May 2019.

Lou Townson said:

“I feel really honoured and flattered to have been nominated.

I have been involved with this work for 26 years, I don’t think anything I do is special it’s just the way it should be.

Since joining People First I have learnt so much. They have given me the support I needed to speak up and now I can support other people to do the same.

Yes, it would be lovely to win, but just being shortlisted is amazing to be honest.”

For more information about the Diverse Cumbria Awards visit: