Learning disability nurse and posing with people who have learning disabilities and academic staff

ENABLE Scotland and GCU to offer future health and social care workers learning disability experience

Students and staff from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) will work alongside the charity ENABLE Scotland to support people who have a learning disabilities, thanks to a new partnership agreement.

ENABLE Scotland, the country’s leading charity supporting people who live with have a learning disability, will provide volunteering and employment opportunities to students from the University’s School of Health and Life Sciences.

The partnership will also see greater research collaboration and help to shape the delivery of social care. Academics, students, researchers, and third sector professionals will work side-by-side to improve people’s lives.

Theresa Shearer, ENABLE Scotland CEO, said: “ENABLE Scotland supports thousands of people throughout Scotland who have a learning disability to live and work in their community. We are absolutely delighted to have developed this partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University, which will offer students a unique chance to gain practical experience of health and social care.

“Each person we support has different ambitions and needs, so students will experience a wide variety of situations and learn how health and social care can be delivered to fit individual circumstances.

“Through their placements, students will experience all the aspects that come together to offer people who have a learning disability the choice and control to live the lives they choose.

“The knowledge and research gained through this exciting collaboration also has enormous potential to help drive innovation in health and social care practice and I look forward to working with our partners at GCU in the months ahead to see what we can achieve together.”

Vincent McKay, Dean of the School of Health and Life Sciences at GCU, added:

“This initiative is a further example of our Common Good social mission in action. By working closely with ENABLE Scotland, we hope to contribute to creating an equal society for every person who has a learning disability. This partnership will further strengthen the work already underway within our student and academic communities. By creating opportunities for our staff, students and future practitioners to work closely with ENABLE Scotland, our graduates will be better equipped to support people with who have learning disabilities in practice. Furthermore, working in collaboration with ENABLE Scotland, our researchers will work to not only evaluate current service models but to identify and explore new ways of working, enhanced by robust research and evaluation.”

Ann Marie Wight, a student learning disability nurse at Glasgow Caledonian University, stated:

“Being able to work alongside ENABLE Scotland will be invaluable, as it will allow me and other students the opportunity to broaden our knowledge of people with who have a learning disabilities. This partnership will help us to better understand the ways in which ENABLE Scotland supports people with who have a learning disability to challenge and overcome any barriers to their health and wellbeing. As students, this will also contribute to our learning in relation to developing bespoke and strength-based interventions now, and in the future.” 

GCU is one of only two universities in Scotland that offers an Undergraduate BSc or BSc (Honours) in Learning  Disability Nursing. Learning Disability Nurses are the only professionally registered group who are specifically degree educated to work alongside people with who have a learning disabilities, their families and carers. In addition, GCU now also offers a unique opportunity in Scotland to study for a BSc (Honours) Dual Registration in Learning Disability and Children’s and Young People’s Nursing.

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