Student Nurse Training

On the 2nd March, Ffion Poole and Amy Jones—supported by Christy Taylor—attended the University of South Wales to talk to the student nurses about what it’s like living with a learning disability and how difficult it can be.

As part of the training, everyone watched a video about how nurses should interact with people with learning disabilities.  We then went into groups with the students and discussed our lives and what things are difficult for us.  The students will use this information to design a poster which will be marked by us at the end of May.



Welsh Ambulance Service

On Thursday 20th February, Ffion Poole, Hannah Thomas and Christy Taylor went to Swansea where they gave a presentation to Mandy, Leanne and Matthew from the Welsh Ambulance Service.  The presentation was of the training Caerphilly People First provides to medical students, and was filmed in order to publicise the working relationship between the Welsh Ambulance Service and people with learning disabilities.

The  possibility of Hannah becoming a Learning Disability Community Champion for the Ambulance Service was also discussed.  Ffion is already a Champion, and the role involves talking to groups of people with learning disabilities about the work ambulance staff do.



Gwent Police – Mate Crime

We were recently visited by two officers from Gwent Police who talked to us about Mate Crime.  Mate Crime is a form of hate crime that is defined as abuse or theft being carried out by someone who claims to be a friend.  This can include financial abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.  People with learning disabilities are often the target of mate crime.

The Crime and Disorder Reduction Officer and Community Support officer who visited us told us that the police take these crimes very seriously and they want people to REPORT IT!  They acknowledged that this can be scary but there is always someone that will look after you and support you. They said that you can call them on 101, or contact them via Crimestoppers or Facebook.  If a crime is in the process of being committed you can call 999.



TRAC Meetings & Training

Caerphilly People First has been very closely involved with TRAC (Teaching and Research Advisory Committee), which is based at the University of South Wales.  At the end of October the members attended a TRAC meeting at the University where members of TRAC delivered a presentation on communication.  After the presentation we spent an hour chatting in groups with the student nurses about our lives and personal experiences.  Each student will now design a poster based on the comments of individuals from the People First groups, which people will read and rate for accuracy.


There was a further meeting in November where TRAC members talked about delivering training in 2020/2021, and discussed the new curriculum.  The group also talked about the modules for year 3 students.  TRAC has yet to have any involvement with year 3 students and look forward to helping them with their ‘Communication and Complex Needs’ module.

Also in November, Ffion and Kath were at the simulation ward in the University of South Wales, helping to train year 2 students.  Kath played the part of a patient with asthma who needed to learn how to use the asthma pump.  Also on the ward were people playing other roles, including someone having a panic attack and someone suffering from dementia.

Lloyds Bank Foundation Computers

Caerphilly People First would like to say a big thank you to the Lloyds Bank Foundation’s ‘Get Online at Home’ scheme for donating three computers to our organisation.  We would especially like to thank Mike Lewis for informing us about the scheme.  As you can see from the picture, the computers are already up and running and being used by volunteers at the office.



‘Big Accident, Little Accident’ Training

On Tuesday 22nd of October 2019, Ffion Poole, Sharon Cochrane, Cyril Luke and Christy Taylor visited Gwerin day centre in Rhymney where we delivered ‘Big Accident, Little Accident’ training.  This training is all about when is the right time to call 999.  We talked about people’s experiences when they have called 999 or 101 and how they have been treated by paramedics and other health professionals.

We also handed out the ‘About Me’ sheets and magnets.  We talked about how to fill them in and explained to everyone that if they need to ring an ambulance the paramedics will come into their home and look for the sheets.  These sheets contain information such as a person’s likes and dislikes, allergies, what medication they take, and emergency contact details.



Student Nurse Training

At the beginning of October Ffion Poole, Kath Toms, and Sharon Cochrane – supported by Christy Taylor – delivered communication training to 1st year student nurses at the University of South Wales, Pontypridd.

There were 360 student nurses in the audience, and the training we delivered was about how to understand and talk to someone with a learning disability.  During the training we showed a video of Sharon playing the role of a person with a learning disability who has been admitted to hospital with a chest infection.  The film shows the right and wrong way to communicate with someone with a learning disability.

The students showed great interest and many came to speak to us at the end of the training. We can’t wait to do more training at the University of South Wales in the future.


TRAC (Teaching and Research Advisory Committee) Meeting

It was lovely to catch up with members of other People First groups at the first TRAC meeting of the term at the University of South Wales, at the end of September.

The team is excited about delivering training to student nurses and although it’s going to be very busy we are very much looking forward to the coming weeks.