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Learning Disability Awareness Week 14-20 June

For many people with a learning disability and their families, getting involved in creative activities has been a way to remain connected with others, prevent feelings of isolation and help mental wellbeing through the challenges of the last year.  For National Learning Disability Week 2021 the theme is ‘art and creativity’ and within Norfolk and Waveney we are doing just that!

NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group Learning Disability (LD) health improvement team, local NHS Trusts and the UEA School of Health Sciences are coming together with those they support with learning disabilities to celebrate the occasion with an exciting public event in Norwich. Learning Disabilities Nurses and students will be in attendance to promote their wonderful field of nursing. The focus of the event will be on promoting careers in learning disabilities nursing. The event will take place on 23 June at The Forum in Norwich from 10am-3pm.

Musical sessions will be led by award winning harpist, Xenia Horne, a highly experienced professional harpist and composer, performing and creating music across a wide range of genres. She will be accompanied by a sign-a-long choir of students and qualified Learning Disability nurses, people with a learning disability and their friends, families and carers.

The event has been planned by a number of different organisations, who have an interest in promoting Learning Disability Nursing including NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust, Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, the University of East Anglia and Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

On the day members of the public will be able to talk to nurses and other specialist learning disabilities professionals including physiotherapists, social workers as well as people who use Learning Disability services about potential careers within the region as well as having some fun. Filming across Norfolk & Suffolk is currently being undertaken to develop a series of short recruitment and careers advice videos that will be used in schools for Year Ten pupils to explore their futures as Learning Disability nurses this project is being funded by Health Education England.

Heidi McKay, Learning Disabilities Lead Nurse with Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust said: “This is a fun and creative way to alert members of the public to the fantastic opportunities there are for careers in Learning Disability nursing. We are so proud of what we do and what we enable those in our care to achieve. People tend to think of general nursing, but Learning Disability nursing is so rewarding and needs to be promoted.

“We hope that members of the public who attend our event and learn more about this career choice will take steps to join our vibrant workforce.”

Cath Byford, Chief Nurse with NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “This is a great opportunity to not only promote careers in Learning Disability nursing, but also to promote to those people who use services and their friends, family and carers of the important role that nurses have in promoting the good physical and mental health of those they care for. People with a Learning Disability are more unlikely than the general population to access physical health checks and we will be talking to families and carers about the importance of annual health checks. We’re hoping that people will come along, have fun, enjoy the music and singing, as well as learning more about Learning Disability nursing.”



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