Hijinx film celebrates 100 years of Learning Disability Nursing

A FILM celebrating 100 Years of Learning Disability Nursing (LDN) has been launched at an event at the University of South Wales (USW).

Vaughan Gething, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Service, opened the event, which included talks by local and national speakers with expertise in LDN.

One of the highlights of the day was the premiere of a film produced by Hijinx, a leading Welsh theatre company renowned for casting professional learning disabled and/or neurodivergent actors in all of its shows. Cardiff-based Hijinx is acclaimed for its award-winning productions, pioneering diversity training, and ambitious community projects.

The film produced for USW and Bangor University, which was funded as part of an awareness raising project by the Welsh Government, focuses on the vital interactions LD nurses have with their clients.

“The aim from the start was to produce a film that didn’t just chronicle the work of these specialist nurses, but really highlights what drives them,” said Ness Morse, Business Development Director for Hijinx, who managed the project.

“We wanted to reflect the magic moments that the nurses have with their clients, the special bond that exists between them.”

The second part of the film saw a number of Hijinx Actors recounting the words of clients who receive support from learning disability nurses.

“The simple piece describes how important LDNs are to the people they support,” Ness added.

“But it also shows what they receive back in the process. It’s an amazing two-way partnership.”

Following the film premiere, many of the actors took part in a Q&A session with those who had seen the film.

Dr Nicky Genders, Head of School of Care Science at USW who chaired the conference and is herself a Learning Disability Nurse, said: “I am proud to be part of celebrating 100 years of learning disability nursing and raising the profile across Wales of the work nurses do to support people with learning disabilities and their families.”

The conference was also addressed by a number of experts working in the learning disability nursing field, including Professor Jean White, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales; Dr Ruth Wyn Williams of Bangor University; and Professor Ruth Northway of USW.

The actors who appear in the film are Simon Gravelle, Gareth John, Sian Fouladi, Lindsay Foster, Jacques Colgate, Fiona Wilson, Alex Williams, Rich Newnham, and Freddie Holcombe.

You can watch the full film on our YouTube channel here.

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