Introducing Mark Gray
After a brief career in Performing Arts Mark was asked by a friend to run drama workshops for children & young People with learning disabilities in Swindon in the summer of 1981.
It was a request that was to change his life dramatically, and after a few enquiries, he enrolled to to be a student Nurse RNMH at Swindon & District School of Nursing.
Never one to do things by halves, Mark started his course but was enrolled on an Open University Psychology Course and worked on local Hospital Radio.
Mark was lucky to have David Clarke and Karl Nunkoosing as his tutors and his cohort were part of the pilot for project 2000 which became the nursing degree now undertaken by LD Nurses today. As a result of their radical teaching methods Mark developed an early interest in Disability Rights and put his drama skills to good use in an English National Board set of Films “Caring for a Person With Mental Handicap” training Package for students in 1983/84.
Mark Qualified a year late to complete his degree and worked in residential and day care services in NHS based settings from 1985 to 1987 where he was both a staff nurse and later charge nurse.
In 1988 Mark was offered an opportunity to develop, design and lead a day service provision for people with profound & multiple disabilities in Newbury West Berkshire where he stayed until December 1989.
The Newbury project came to the attention of the RNIB in London and Mark was asked to apply for a new post to develop a national UK training service to support workers in the field of Multiple Disabilities where he worked for the next 15 years.
RNIB Changing Lives
The RNIB Multiple disability Service was run by Mark Gray and Gill Levy.
Gill ran the information and training service producing Focus Magazine, Factsheets and running roadshows. The Training service undertook training and consultancy and launched the first ever accredited course on Learning disabilities and sensory loss known as the RNIB certificate in Multiple Disability later Changing Lives. Over the period 1993 to 2005 when the course was running over 35,000 people were trained many went on to qualify as LD nurses or Managers of Health & Care services today.
There were many highlights in this period for Mark as a result of RNIB’s international work he became an integral part of the European Blind Union Committee for the Multi Handicapped Blind from 1993 to 2002 writing in several publications speaking at four international Conferences and developing the sensory impairment training for the European Care Certificate.
Other firsts were completing his Masters Degree in applied Psychology in Communication and the development of his Zoning Theory work. Mark Published his first book The Practical Guide To Multi sensory rooms with Richard Hirstwood. Along with several magazine articles, research papers and book chapters. Nurse Training and lecturing for Universities becoming part of the steering committee of the National Network of Learning Disability Nurses
Deafblind UK 2005 -2007
After 15 years with RNIB and being made redundant Mark was offered the opportunity to be Head of Services for Deafblind UK and to continue the Development of the RNIB, DBUK, SENSE Course the Diploma in Deafblind Studies. Passing the baton on to Gerard Swann & Virginia Von Malachowski.
This widened Marks experience of client groups to include older people with sensory loss , managing communicator Guide services and people with Dementia & Strokes. after a second redundancy and winning a contract for the Charity Mark was advised to take the contract and set up Mark Gray Associates.
Mark Gray Associates LTD 2007 -to date
The company started with a contract with Orchard Hill College providing Training and Functional Vision Tests for students gradually breaking into a wider range of training and consultancy contracts around the UK see our partners page for more details.
Access design & other consultancy services around the UK and overseas, most notably in Azerbaijan with the British Council. in addition Mark is a visiting tutor to several universities in Learning Disability Nursing, and at BCU in the Diploma & Degree in Rehabilitation Work (Visual Impairment) .
Mark Gray has also had short term interim management contracts at ARC UK as Interim CEO in 2010-2011 was on the Association of residential providers group, and was involved in developing parts of the Valuing people and Valuing People Now white papers. He was a trustee and Chair at BILD from 2006 -2010. Trustee of RTCW from 2012 to 2015 and Chair of Pohwer from 2016-2018.
This part is under Construction