Matt Leadbeater, a person we support, has been named on this year’s Dimensions Learning Disability and Autism Leaders List. The list celebrates the achievements and leadership of people with learning disabilities and autistic people. Matt was one of 20 people to be chosen from over 200 nominations.
Matt conquered his fear of heights back in July and climbed the 02. He raised more than £1000 for Active Prospects, which supports him.
A passionate fundraiser, 38-year-old Matt doesn’t let his learning disability get in the way. This year, he was keen to realise his long-term ambition to walk over the O2 with his support worker, Christine Davey. He described his adventure:
“It was nerve wracking because it bounces. When we got to the top it was hot, the temperature was 30 degrees. The view was amazing, we saw Canary Wharf and the whole of London. Coming down was a bit scary because of the angle. You have to take it step by step, I panicked at first and Christine advised me to take it slowly. I’d like to do it again.”
Matt is a volunteer with Active Prospects. One of his support workers shared his passion for fundraising with the Director of Business Development Joel Hartfield, and the organisation took him on.
Joel Hartfield said: “Matt was shortlisted for Volunteer of the Year in the Third Sector Awards 2021. These are national awards with high levels of competition, It’s a great achievement to be one of the five people shortlisted.”
Matt’s fundraising work didn’t stop there; he also organised two live events which raised £700 for BBC Children In Need. He also supported his peers who were raising money for Macmillan, and he ran The Great Pro-Active Bake Off and produced the fundraising packs and promotional posters. He also promoted this on BBC Radio Surrey.
“It’s been fun doing it and putting it together but unfortunately because of Covid we couldn’t send out the fundraising packs when we wanted to. We decided that November would be the month when we could ask people to get involved.”
Matt runs the Pro-Active Community Facebook page where he cheers-up people with daily quotes to make everyone feel happier. During the pandemic Matt also set up his own radio station to broadcast to a wide group of people. This includes other providers of support for people with learning disabilities and autism.
Matt’s desire and energy to help others knows no bounds; during lockdown he delivered fruit and vegetables to vulnerable people. He also hosts regular DJ slots in the evening for those in residential and community services who may not be able to attend other social events.