Colin is one of our lead trainers and has been working closely with us for the past 3 years, delivering courses in various areas, including personal safety and conflict resolution.
Colin began care work at a local hospital in Cardiff, housing residents with learning disabilities in the early 1980s. The role involved escorting residents to outside activities. When one of the senior nurses suggested he apply for full-time employment as a Nursing Assistant, Colin was inspired to further his career. He trained and qualified as a Nurse and continued working with this particular client group. Colin went on to qualify as a Registered Mental Health Nurse and a Behavioural Specialist.
In the years following Colin’s training, the All Wales Strategy came into force and many institutions and hospitals began to close, with most residents settling back into the community.
Sadly, when he first began working with individuals with learning disabilities, Colin found that the world of care did not meet his expectations.
‘On several occasions, I thought that many of the residents did not require qualified nurses to support them. On many more occasions, I would feel frustrated at the daily routines as they were regimented and both staff and residents were institutionalised,’ Colin recalls.
During his time as a nurse, Colin took part in pioneering safe-holding training which is still used today. Colin was initially trained to respond to challenging behaviour using Control and Restraint techniques, which involved the application of pain. He soon regarded these methods as unsuitable and was given the task of producing a non-pain-based method of safe holding for the NHS. This led to a publication named ‘Preventing and Responding to Aggressive Behaviour: a Training Manual,’ and the training was delivered by Colin and some other trainers across the Learning Disability Services in Wales. Colin has since been referenced and recognised in a number of publications surrounding the subject.
Asked to recount any interesting stories, one particular occasion springs to mind. During a swimming session with a service user and a support worker, which had been implemented as part of the gentleman’s care plan, the man turned to Colin and proclaimed ‘Colin Dunn, I don’t like swimming!’ Colin asked the man why he continued to come to his sessions, which were identified as ‘relaxing’ for him, to which he replied, ‘Because you two keep bringing me!’ This just goes to show the importance of good quality assessments.
‘I believe it is very important to have field experience when training others, as I can often reflect on my practice and field experiences, and use these to help delegates on the training courses. I also believe this gives me credibility during training and ‘hands on’ sessions. Although I may not have all the answers, I can usually respond to questions and scenarios during these sessions.’
Colin is truly an asset to our team, with years of experience and compassion behind him. Have you received training from Colin, or any of our other trainers? If so, let us know how the experience was for you!