Helen Symonds was inspired to take up learning disability (LD)
nursing after spending fun-filled holidays during her youth with children with
LD. And although she no longer specialises in the field, she still describes
caring for people with learning disabilities as her passion.
Helen trained as a learning disability nurse in 1998 and
spent the next 16 years working in a variety of settings, including a group
home and assessment and treatment unit, before moving to CAMHS in Peterborough
to support young people with challenging behaviour.
Now a Psychological Therapist with Wellbeing Norfolk and
Waveney, based in King’s Lynn, she continues to play a role in helping improve
care for people with LD by volunteering as one of NSFT’s Green Light Champions.
“When I was younger I worked for the Red Cross and we would take children with
LD away each year on holiday,” said Helen. “It was so much fun and the reason I
chose learning disabilities as my career.
“People with LD don’t have any inhibitions and have a really
lovely way of looking at the world which differs to those without LD. They
always treat others with respect – to them, it’s not important what colour your
hair is or if you have the latest trainers, which I find really refreshing.
“I have kept my passion for LD going by signing up as a
Green Light Champion. I want to play a part in further improving the Wellbeing
Service for people with LD by making sure they can access the service in the
same way as everyone else.
“My experiences as an LD nurse have helped in my current
role as I feel I’m able to meet the needs of people from all walks of life and
can hopefully help empower them to better mental health. It's definitely a
career path I’d recommend.”
To read more about Learning Disability Nursing, click here.