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Learning disability nurses join ‘uplifting’ message to students

PUBLISHED: 13:16 09 June 2020 | UPDATED: 14:05 09 June 2020

Norfolk learning disability nurse Heidi McKay, top centre, is among those to create a video to support student nurses. Picture: Team keephoLDiNgon

Norfolk learning disability nurse Heidi McKay, top centre, is among those to create a video to support student nurses. Picture: Team keephoLDiNgon

Team keephoLDiNgon

Norfolk learning disability nurses have helped perform an uplifting song in support of student nurses whose studies have been interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Former North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb (top) and actress Sally Phillips (bottom) in video to support student learning disability nurses. Picture: Team keephoLDiNgonFormer North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb (top) and actress Sally Phillips (bottom) in video to support student learning disability nurses. Picture: Team keephoLDiNgon

Sue Bridges and Heidi McKay were among learning disability nurses from across the country who joined forces to create the video to the song Keep Holding On by Avril Lavigne.

The idea of the track was to encourage student nurses in training of the vital work they carry out each day.

Members of the learning disability nurse community, along with a series of famous faces, have joined forces to create a video to support student nurses. Picture: Team keephoLDiNgonMembers of the learning disability nurse community, along with a series of famous faces, have joined forces to create a video to support student nurses. Picture: Team keephoLDiNgon

The film includes people who have learning disabilities and their families alongside public figures and advocates, as well as nurses, students and academics, including UEA learning disabilities nursing course lecturer Kirsty Henry.

The video features many famous faces, including comedian and actress Sally Phillips with the official NHS Choir, Suffolk-born acclaimed Royal Ballet dancer Gary Avis MBE and Sky News presenter Stepehn Dixon. Also joining the virtual sing-along is former North Norfolk MP and mental health campaigner Sir Norman Lamb, who appears in the video with his cat.

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As of 2018, there were 3,300 learning disability nurses working within the NHS, while many more work in social care and the independent sector.

Heidi the project was aimed at encouraging more people to train as learning disability nurses as there are so few of them and to support them through the current situation.

She said: “Student nurses are our next generation and are terribly important to us. It was great that we could come together to give back to our student nurses.

“You can keep watching it makes me feel uplifted and so proud. It wasn’t about one person’s idea, this is a whole national collective.”

Sue said: “The message of Keep Holding On is a call to all of them to please keep holding, and tells them they will make it through.”

More videos are set to be released in the run up to Learning Disability Week, from June 15-21. The project has been organised during lockdown by a small group of mainly learning disability nursing professionals who together make up Team #keephoLDiNgon


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