Rowena Hallé has worked with people with learning difficulties and their families since 1965. Qualifying as a teacher originally and working with young people in transition over the following years, she followed her passion for community, in all its guises, setting up community projects and promoting inclusion.
During the seventies Rowena fostered babies with Down syndrome and established a short break facility supported by 120 volunteers, operating 365 days of the year, to support families with young children to take time out for themselves. This was done in conjunction with local businesses who provided funds to make it possible. During these years she was a guest lecturer to second year Social Work students at Manchester University and also spent a considerable amount of time speaking to community groups, training staff and fund raising.
In 1982 Rowena and her husband Bernard, retired and sailed out to the Mediterranean. For the following eleven years during the eighties and early nineties she opened her home in Mallorca to people with learning difficulties, providing all expenses paid activity holidays.
After returning to the United Kingdom in 1992 Rowena studied for an Msc in Learning Disability Studies followed by a PGCE in post 16 education and returned to part time teaching, working with adults with learning difficulties for the local authority.
During this time Rowena once again became actively involved in voluntary work and also sat on various local authority committees and working parties. In 1997 after in depth training in Person Centred Planning, Rowena became the co-ordinator for Devon and Cornwall Circles Network, returning to her community roots.
In 1999 Rowena set up a support service for people wanting to live independently. In 2014 she became CEO of Kaleidoscope South Hams and continues her work to grow and develop community connections.
Rowena loves sailing, reading, writing, painting and music: She is a ‘foodie’, enjoys cooking and entertaining, values time with family and friends, loves birds and animals; loves solitude and her home in the countryside and believes she has been granted all the blessings of a happy life.