Umbrella is proud to announce that our long-standing Chief Executive Ann Rowlands has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in recognition for her services to disabled children and young people in Derbyshire.
Ann says, “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be awarded an MBE. Credit for the award must go to the whole Umbrella family – the wonderful Trustees, staff, volunteers and fundraisers who have all supported and worked tirelessly to improve services and opportunities for disabled children and young adults. I am amazingly proud and privileged to have had the opportunity to be part of the lives of so many fabulous children and young adults. I have fondly watched them grow and develop, but I will never forget the beautiful children and young adults who sadly lost their incredible fights for life. I truly have the best job in the world.”
Nigel Farrow, Umbrella Trustee says, “Ann richly deserves this award for her dedication and hard work over many years. All that she does is underpinned by a passion and commitment to families of disabled children and their families. She is well known and highly respected by users of the service, trustees, staff, partner organisations and supporters alike.”
Ann has worked at Umbrella since 1996, becoming the Chief Executive in 1999. The 61 year old spent her early career in her childhood town of Nuneaton before moving to Derbyshire with her husband in 1986. Ann is the mother of 3 young adults one of whom has a learning difficulty which has helped her to understand some of the challenges families face.
Ann joined Umbrella as a Play Worker where she helped to set up a play scheme for children with very complex disabilities to ensure they had fun times during the holidays and the opportunity to meet up with their school friends.
Ann’s latest achievement has been to oversee the complete renovation of a Derby City Council owned building which will allow Umbrella to deliver more services particularly to ensure young adults have the opportunity to develop their independence skills. The renovation will be completed by the end of November. The centre will be named “The Annie Hall Centre” in memory of Umbrella’s much-loved friend and Trustee Annie Hall who sadly lost her life in the floods of 2019.