These are our annual awards, set up in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council
‘The Rumble Awards’ , Hertfordshire’s Learning Disability Personality of the Year, started in 2011, in honour of the late Keith Rumble
Keith was one of the founder members of The Pioneer Spirits, known for his love of life and his happy nature. He would grasp the opportunities offered to him with great enthusiasm, in spite of many challenges along the way
When Keith died, The Pioneer Spirits wanted to do something to celebrate Keith’s life and to reflect the love they felt for him. They first of all set up a project called The Rumbles, and invited many other people with learning disabilities and differences to be involved
The Rumble Awards (originally The Keith Rumble Awards)
The idea behind the Rumble awards was to recognise and celebrate individuals who, like Keith, deserve an award for exceeding all expectations and enhancing the lives of others in the process.
Nominated by organisations and individuals involved in the lives of people with learning disabilities in Hertfordshire, there are a number of awards given for such achievements as ‘Being a Community Hero’ or for ‘Their Spirit of Adventure’, with the overall winner voted for by the group (without knowing the names of the people they are voting for to ensure an honest and fair outcome)
In the world of health and social care we often talk about people with disabilities feeling valued and making a valid contribution to society, yet time and time again when any award ceremonies are held, care ‘heroes’ and superstar awards go to the people who support them. This is well-deserved – the people who support can do an amazing job – but we can often undervalue and/or forget the many attributes of the people they are supporting; whilst we don’t want to deny the many challenges people with learning disabilities or differences face, we can disempower with the language we use – often describing them as victims or as ‘suffering ’ their conditions, rather than seeing the whole person
The Rumble Awards set out to redress this. We want people to recognise the people themselves for their many unique skills, talents and personalities.
Those of us who work with people with learning disabilities and differences know very well the many ways in which they can enhance our lives, often teaching us valuable lessons along the way
The awards are organised and run by and with people with learning disabilities and differences. They create and host the event, design the media, and decide who will win what award and who the ultimate winner will be
The Rumbles perform a new song each year and a new song is also written and recorded to dance to by the group we assemble for the event. A music group also performs. Performers have a range of disabilities and differences including dementia, autism, and mental health issues, and as such can truly reflect the needs and wishes of the people they represent
Winners are given different awards and pictures of them are projected onto a screen as they accept them. All entertainers who are invited to perform (such as James, the Magician) have learning disabilities, and the venue is of a high professional standard, fully accessible, with decorations planned and set up by the group
The whole event is a celebration of the positive contribution people with learning disabilities and differences make to our world