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20 November 2016 

We've hit 25,000 views on our Introduction to PBS animation!

pbs animation

An Introduction to PBS is a short animation - just six minutes long – that gives an overview of PBS and how PBS approaches work in practice when supporting an individual.

The animation was created in May 2015 by a small group of academics and researchers, practitioners and parents, trainers and facilitators and people with a learning disability who are passionate about improving the quality of people’s lives.

The animation passed the 25,000 views mark on BILD's YouTube page and website. In fact, it's been viewed by more than that because we have also sent copies of the animation to over 400 people and organisations who have requested a copy to use in staff inductions and development programmes.

3 June 2016 

From Brazil to Birmingham saying hello in a shrinking world 

Earlier in the year, Renata Macedo Soares visited BILD from Sao Paulo in Brazil. She is the Director of the Morungaba Centre which provides education and arts experiences for people with learning disabilities. Renata promised to keep in touch and on Friday 3rd June 2016, BILD and pupils from the Morungaba Centre shared a Skype phonecall. Jackie Poutney, Kate Brackley and Keith Smith enjoyed getting to know their Brazilian colleagues. 

8 April 2016

"BILD has always been a catalyst for change, I want to work with members to ensure we do this even more effectively"


"Dear BILD member,          

I join BILD at an interesting time for the sector. It is 5 years ago that the Panorama documentary of the Winterbourne View scandal left us all shocked to see modern Britain seriously failing some of its most vulnerable people. 

Since then we’ve seen many missed opportunities for change, and great frustration for those most affected and their families.                  

We do though now see and welcome new government policies that provide us with an opportunity to ensure the next five years is a period of real change in the sector.

BILD is committed to supporting organisations to develop their staff’s skills to prevent and de-escalate difficult situations, in order to reduce the reliance on restrictive practices. Previously we have seen this largely focussed on adult health and social care. However, with the forthcoming government guidance for children’s services, we are now developing positive models of support for special schools and residential child care providers as well.

BILD has always been a catalyst for change in this way. Working with organisations, we seek to develop practice that will make change happen in people’s lives. We do this through our consultancy, training and workforce development, through our publishing and conferences and, via BILD membership, by providing information about the latest in learning disabilities practice.

I am particularly keen to ensure members have the opportunity to shape BILD’s priorities as we go forwards, so that we can most effectively support members in their work. I have already begun meeting with some of BILD’s organisational members to ensure that, working collaboratively, we can provide the support from BILD that they are looking for and that, together, we can all work effectively to improve the range of opportunities available to people with disabilities.

I am very much looking forward to working with all of BILD’s members in this way in future."


Ben Higgins,

BILD Chief Executive

31 March 2016

The 2016 Positive Choices Conference!

The 2016 Positive Choices Learning Disability Nursing students conference, held in Nottingham University saw four hundred nursing students come together to celebrate their choice of the LD branch of nursing, as well as to hear presentations on a wide range of subjects and projects. The theme of the Conference this year was 'Inclusion Superheroes!' 

Positive Choices

A highlight of the conference is always the first night party, where MiXiT (pictured above) delivered a truly amazing show and ended with the students joining them on stage!


BILD's Kate Brackley was invited to do a series of 'whirlwind cafe' sessions, speaking on 'Getting the Life I Wanted' and telling how building her own person centred plan, and getting a personal budget made such a contribution to changing things, but that an important drive came from her own ambitions for her life and a determination to fight against bullying and to take opportunities like The Undateables. Kate's cafes, (pictured above) of which she did seven, went down really well and at times there was a queue!


Hi my name is Gary - it's my job to hold the blue door shut (but not locked, under MCA DoLs)" One of the features of the conference was a drama, 'A Life Not a Hashtag', from MiXit about the crucial role of Care and Treatment Reviews in Assessment and Treatment Units, and the vital role Commissioners must play in making change happen for people with learning disabilities trapped in those Units.


The winner of the free prize draw for a BILD Student membership was drawn by Scott Watkin of SeeAbility, pictured above with Kate. Well done Anna Johnson of Nottingham University! 

We had a great time, it was lovely meeting so many young people so passionate about their chosen career and full of such energy - they seemed to like BILD and the information we had for them to take away too! 

Next year's Positive Choices conference is in Hull and will be an officially designated part of the Hull European City of Culture Celebrations. Kate has been invited to be a keynote speaker on the programme, so well done her!

4 December 2015

'People with learning disabilities are growing older and we don't know if services can support them'

BILD 2015 International Research and practice Conference on Ageing and Learning Disabilities

Bob Gates

The challenges facing older people with learning disabilities were highlighted by Professor Bob Gates, editor of the British Journal of Learning Disabilities (BJLD), and Dr Niki Ward, coordinator of the BJLD special issue on ageing and people with learning disabilities, during their opening address at BILD Ageing Well International Research and Practice Conference at Aston University.

Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health made clear the importance of including people with learning disabilities in planning for the future, "The Department of Health is identifying the needs of people growing older with learning disabilities, and working to adapt services but we must ensure older people with learning disabilities are included in shaping the future.

The event was well attended, with delegates enjoying high quality keynote speeches and valuable workshops from leaders in research and practice in supporting older people with learning disabilities.

More about BILD's Ageing Well at www.bild.org.uk/ageingwell

Lyn Romeo
"People with learning disabilities are five times more likely to get dementia than those without." 

Lyn Romeo, Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health
Christine Bigby

"Invisible social connections means high risk for services, little progress and a failure to lay a foundation."

Christine Bigby of the Living with a Disability Research Centre, LaTrobe University, Australia

Eilish Burke
"In order to bring people out from institutional care and into communities, a body of knowledge to deliver the right kind of services needs to be built." 

Eilish Burke of the IDS-TILDA team at Trinity College Dublin

Pat Charlesworth

Pat Charlesworth of the Growing Older with Learning Disabilities (GOLD) group shares her personal experiences of getting older, and a video features GOLD group member Betty, who loves to go on holiday and is visited by The GOLD group twice a day

"Love and understanding helps the ageing process and I know this from first hand experience."

Hema Abeyatunge, winner of the award for supporting older people with learning disabilities at BILD's National Learning Disability and Autism Awards in May 2015 shared some inspirational stories of working as a social worker for Regard services.  

Karen Watchman

"Diagnosis and staff training are closely linked in order to support older people with learning disabilities. 
Resources such as Jenny's diary are insightful and can support older people with learning disabilities, their families, friends and carers."

Karen Watchman of the Alzheimer Scotland Centre at the University of West of Scotland

BJLD Dec 2015

The December 2015 issue of the British Journal of Learning Disabilities is a Special Issue on ageing and people with learning disabilities.

BILD members can read and download the issue here >

If you need to know your log in details, please contact membership@bild.org.uk

BILD Members can get a free online subscription to this journal as part of their membership, if you'd like to find out more >

4 December 2015

Active Ageing and people with learning disabilities: A short film by BILD's Ageing Well Project and Inclusive Films

Ageing well YouTube video

BILD’S Ageing Well Project and Inclusive Films have produced an inspiring short film about people with a learning disability and their experience of ageing well, which was premiered at the Ageing Well Research and Practice Conference 

The film features the voices of three people with learning disabilities talking about their experiences of getting older and the importance of staying active and see suggested discussion questions to support work around the film at www.bild.org.uk/activeageing

Do you know that you can subscribe to BILD's You Tube page? This means that every time we produce a new film you are sent an automatic notification. See the full range of our videos and subscribe here >

More about BILD's Ageing Well project at www.bild.org.uk/ageingwell

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