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Postcard portraits celebrate work of learning disability nurses

Initiative with pictures and messages from nurses across the UK marks Learning Disability Week
Picture of one of the postcards used to promote learning disability nursing

Initiative with pictures and messages from nurses across the UK marks Learning Disability Week

A campaign using postcards showing portraits of learning disability nurses is being used to celebrate their work and mark Learning Disability Week.

Called Postcards from the Brightside , the initiative features nurses from across the UK whose photographs have been converted by software to resemble acrylic paintings, alongside messages in which they describe what the profession means to them.

David Harling

The initiative is organised by NHS England and

Initiative with pictures and messages from nurses across the UK marks Learning Disability Week

Picture of one of the postcards used to promote learning disability nursing

A campaign using postcards showing portraits of learning disability nurses is being used to celebrate their work and mark Learning Disability Week.

Called Postcards from the Brightside, the initiative features nurses from across the UK whose photographs have been converted by software to resemble acrylic paintings, alongside messages in which they describe what the profession means to them.

Picture of David Harling
David Harling

The initiative is organised by NHS England and NHS Improvement’s head of learning disability nursing David Harling, who said: ‘The rationale is that learning disability nurses are in fact out there working in all types of services and achieving a great deal for and on behalf of people.’

The postcards are hosted on the website of the charity Changing Our Lives, which supports people with disabilities and mental health difficulties to achieve social inclusion.

Campaign hopes to raise awareness of learning disability nursing

Mr Harling, who created the images on his own computer and has completed 114 so far, said the campaign is to celebrate the work of learning disability nurses, raise awareness and invite other nurses and members of the public to think about it as a career.

He said: ‘Sadly, with the pandemic a number of industries are fighting to stay afloat and again, out of this awful situation, some people might think: “I fancy a career change”.’

He is calling on people who view the postcards to download at least five of them and share them on social media using the hashtag #RealNursesRealLives to help spread the message about learning disability nursing.

Picture of one of the postcards used to promote learning disability nursing

Changing Our Lives chief executive officer Jayne Leeson said the campaign is important because learning disability nurse numbers are dwindling.

‘Sometimes when learning disability nurses go into social work teams or into certain organisations their role can be minimised, and they are taken over by care management.

‘Other times trusts might employ just one nurse and think that is enough,’ she said.

The theme of Learning Disability Week, 15-21 June, is the importance of friendships during lockdown.


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