My job

‘Be brave, be fearless and always listen’

Helen Laverty is the leading light behind the Positive Choices conference
Helen Laverty

The annual Positive Choices conference for learning disability students is heading for Dublin in April and this year it has been expanded to include an event for registered nurses called Positive Commitment. Helen Laverty, professional lead for learning disability nursing at the University of Nottingham, is the leading light behind the conference. Here she explains her passion for learning disability nursing

Helen Laverty

Why did you become a learning disability nurse?

I was 14 and school had a curriculum change: no more compulsory religious education but everyone had to do ‘beliefs and values’ which included some placement time. I was allocated every Wednesday for a term in a special school in 1975. Learning disabilities had not crossed my horizons then, or that of my family.

I turned up the next morning full of trepidation but excited, and was allocated to a class of


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