SUSAN HANLEY: Leep1 Co Chair

Susan Hanley is an inspiration to us at Leep1 and so many adults with learning disabilities across Leeds. As a woman with Down’s Syndrome, she believes that people with learning disabilities should have the same opportunity that everybody enjoys. Her drive and commitment to improve the lives of learning disabled people is astonishing, and motivates others. Susan’s personality and sense of humour lights up any room; she has a drive and tenacity that means she never gives up.

Susan is also co-chair of Leeds Learning Disabilities Partnership Board. With five years in this role Susan has played an important part in leading improvements, challenging prejudices and getting the voice of people with learning disabilities heard.

“People have given me funny looks all my life. I know that society treats me differently because of my learning disability, but they don’t really know me, or what I am like. That’s why I want to change things, to make life better for people like me.”


As well as campaigner, innovator and advocate, Susan is also a very talented seamstress, creating beautiful stitched and embroidered pieces that have been exhibited in Leeds City Museum. She is also the founder of Leep1’s ANDClothing brand which is run by her and other team members with learning disabilities.

Susan at a People's Parliament meeting
Susan knitting
Susan at a People's Parliament meeting