Susan Hanley the Chairperson for Leep1 is passionate about raising awareness and fighting for equal rights for adults with learning disabilities. With an interest and talent for fashion and needlework she came up with the idea for Leep1 to start it’s own clothing brand. Susan says: “The idea behind the clothing is to raise awareness of adults with learning disabilities and show people what we can do, not what we can’t do.” The message that we should celebrate abilities not disabilities aims to reduce the stigma and raise awareness of the many barriers and inequalities this community face. Working with a talented artist called Ria from Pyramid of Arts our first designs were created in 2018, which were launched at a fashion show at the Pryzm Nightclub in Leeds.
Susan and Ria’s artistic collaboration is still one of our top selling designs. It is a bright colourful fusion of pattern and texture emblazened with block printed text: “You’ll turn out ordinary if you’re not careful”
Susan has a love for sewing, fashion and embroidery. The AND Brand was her brain child back in 2019 and Susan continues to lead and develop the project and also comes up with some stunning designs and slogans using her wide range of creative talents and passion for campaigning
Meet Annette who has a wealth of skills and a brilliant creative mind. She loves arts, crafts, baking and making things with her hands. She has been a mentor to many during her time at Cafe Leep and her artistic flair is a real asset to our design team.
Bernie absolutely loves colouring and drawing and has a real expertise for colour combinations. She is also a peer in our community and is a travel ambassador for people with disabilities in Leeds. She is passionate about campaigning and speaking up to improve the lives of others.
Ashley is a very talented artist and is brilliant at coming up with new intricate designs for our clothes. He enjoys doing a range of other creative things such as cooking, singing and music. Ash is a big cat and animal lover too and his lovely cat often joins our online sessions to watch the proceedings!
Joe has recently been employed by Cafe Leep to support others training to get their NVQs. He has amazing all round skills but is particularly excellent with people and customers. With a natural encouraging nature he always boosts the team and makes our sessions fun. Every business needs a people person and we have the perfect team member in Joe!
Bhupesh (Bhups) has to be one of the most photogenic people we know! We’re so pleased he’s on board and with his confidence in front of the camera he will no doubt be a great model for our brand. He also loves exercising and keeping fit and has lots of ideas that help the team grow.
Colleen loves the great outdoors, taking her dogs for walks in the countryside and is an extremely talented artist aswell. She has already produced several designs for our brand and we always look forward to seeing her latest works. Colleen works part time at The Owl Pub in Leeds and will fit into her busy schedule running a clothing business too!
Sally is the latest recruit to the AND Team and is an amazing creative through and through. She loves watercolour painting and is very talented in other ways too. She writes poetry in her spare time and her writing skills are a great asset to getting our message out there.