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People First Awards 2023

We are now less than a week away from launching our first ever People First Awards!

The People First Awards is Cumbria’s first awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of young people living with a learning disability.

The ceremony will be held at The Halston on July 18th and will see over 200 guests from across Cumbria’s public, private and third sectors come together to mark achievements, hard-earned qualifications, graduations, and exciting new beginnings.

People First CEO, David Blacklock said: 

“We are incredibly excited to launch our inaugural People First Awards and believe that when Cumbrian people, and Cumbrian businesses, work together we can create real opportunities which have the ability to change lives.”

David continued, 

“We all want a fair chance; and we all want to be respected. This ceremony is a celebration of what can happen when we give people living with learning disabilities a chance, and the support, to develop their skills and abilities.”
The People First Awards celebrate learners enrolled at our Centre for Learning based in Carlisle. A unique, award winning place where education, training and equality come together, the Centre supports people with learning disabilities in gaining accredited work-based learning. Through courses including our Hospitality Academy and Best Life programme, we support our in building the skills and work experience they need to become “work ready”.

Lou Townson, Trustee of People First said: 

“Too often opportunities are not available for people living with a disability. From my experience, I know that it’s the assumption that ‘this isn’t for you’ or ‘you wouldn’t be able to do that’ that stops people pursuing their goals.”

Lou continued, 

“If I think back to when I was younger, I remember feeling other people’s low expectations and the effect that can have. A ceremony like this, the qualifications it celebrates and the aspirations it supports are life-changing and I’m looking forward to being a part of it as a host and a trustee of this organisation.”

In addition to recognising the achievements of our fantastic Learners, we will also showcase some of the brilliant local businesses who are already creating impactful learning opportunities for people with learning disabilities. Business that include Borderway Finance, Thomas Graham, Dodd & Co., and Cumbria LEP to name but a few.

Lou Townson (L) and Lynsey Buckle (R)
Lou Townson (L) and Lynsey Buckle (R)

Lynsey Buckle, Head of Development and Partnerships at People First said: 

“These Awards will be an annual flagship event, not only for People First but for the whole of Cumbria, celebrating the tenacity and hard work of those that are too often overlooked, and champion the impact that employers can have on the lives of local people.
“This year’s ceremony will be particularly special as it will mark the launch of an exciting new ambitious project which will change the way businesses work with people with learning difficulties.”

To find out more about the People First Awards or opportunities for business partnerships, contact [email protected].