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Champagne After DoLs

February 12, 2014

Dear newly appointed Category Manager Service Lead for Reablement and Outreach Services

Congratulations on your recent promotion. Golly – what an extremely long (horizontally) job title you’ve got. It’s taken nearly a whole line on my page. Never mind, I’m sure this is natural law – the more you earn; the longer your job title. Who’d have thought during all those meetings we had that year when you unlawfully deprived my son of his liberty, that three years on, you’d be in such an exalted position with no mud sticking to you whatsoever.

I read about the latest upward surge in your career path this morning and quite by chance, I happened to be in the town centre a couple of hours later and saw some of your service users availing themselves of your outreach service. I’m sure the pouring rain had a lot to do with it but what a bedraggled lot they looked. I stopped to chat as I was being waved at by one of the young guys who used to attend the same school as my son. He was in Burger King with a group of his peers and a couple of enablement champions. I guess I caught him at the wrong moment because he was getting a trifle agitated. He’d only been sitting there for two hours and in that time had positively engaged in the activity of drinking a cup of Fanta. I remember his fondness for Star wars, so we had a chat about Obi Wan Kenobi. Funnily enough, in the process, I was able to reable the champions as well, as it allowed them to fully concentrate on their game of Candy Crush.

You’d think these autistic dudes would show more gratitude wouldn’t you – the cold and the rain being a small price to pay for being able to access the council’s new non building based drop in facilities.

At least tomorrow will be different, or at least drier,as the champions are taking the group to a room in one of the local churches. I used to work there, so I know the place well. So, although there will be absolutely nothing for him to do there, at least he’ll be able to swap that horrid sugary Fanta for a nice cup of water from the cooler. A full day of outreach activities and he’ll be back home for the lunchtime edition of Loose Women.

As I left my hungry friend, I chuckled at the amusing coincidence – the charges my friend and his group are paying for their exciting outreach opportunities are probably going a good way to paying for your handsome salary. A win win for everyone.

Keep up the good work. I’m sure when my friend dries out, he’ll thank you for enabling a new phase of his independence.

Yours sincerely

Percy Nalisation

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From → Social Care

15 Comments
  1. Pat permalink

    ROFLMAO ! Nail on head Neary! Bet the recently promoted an afford to eat food in her subsidised canteen – and probably a few people with LD clearing the tables in there and paying for the privilege !

  2. Karen A permalink

    Totally regret asking (in a steering group) why my LA doesn’t employ more people with LDs now.

  3. Duncfmac permalink

    I regret being involved in this type of money saving crusade before I became an autism dad.

  4. Weary Mother permalink

    Spot on as usual. This is our brave new world. Shame on them. If this was ‘their’ son and daughter sitting in a cafe bored out of their brains with disinterested and equally bored minders, and paying for the privilege, they would be screaming ‘ Human Rights ‘, and writing to their MP! But our sons and daughters are ‘different’ with different rights etc etc?

  5. Sally permalink

    Hooray Mark! Nail on head indeed. Please, please if the chance ever comes up in any forum at which you’re speaking, could you ask these smug sods.At least wo questions:
    1.
    Do they work in an office? Why? (Heat, facilities, resources, convenience, storage,security, efficiency?) OK, why is any open space or a crummy cafe alright for the LD?
    A good way of illustrating this would be to lead them out of whatever room they’re in to the great outdoors.A cramped, noisy cafe? A chilly public square?-and just start talking. Tell them not being able to hear you/their papers blowing away/being unable to find a table/being moved on or harrassed/consitiutes opening up their lives. Didn’t they feel trapped in that silly old office? No no, the solution wasn’t to improve aspects of the office they might not like, the solution was to do away with it altogether.
    If they want to return to an office building, nothing could be easier-they will need to simply ask their parents, be they elderly otherwise occuipied or dead to find, rent, staff, heat, payroll etc etc an office . Any staff will be on the minimum wage and unsupervised but you are sure they will be very good.It would be up to the elderly, dead etc parents to supervise them which will mean said parents either trusting in Fate or following you around all day.
    After all this,here will be enough money for them to be at the office about half a day a week, and it will stop as soon as their parents can’t do ithe admin any more. Pens extra,.

    2.
    They say the champoins are highly trained, motivated etc etc. We all say some may be-but most are on their phones bored, dragging the LD people into shops/striding ahead of them/ignoring them.Is this a problem?

    3.(Optional) How do you sleep at night?

    • Weary Mother permalink

      Sally

      So true

      I challenged a group of paid ‘carers’, who were on ‘an outing’ with a number of young learning disabled men and women in wheelchairs; all were visibly unhappy at being in the charity shop – (and ignored) while their ‘carers’ chatted and tried on clothes.

      • Sally permalink

        Good for you-what did they do?

  6. Sally permalink

    Apologies for the non spellchecked comments above!

  7. Brilliantly written and funny as usual!

    • Pauline Thomas permalink

      The sad truth is all these detrimental changes to the lives of people with LD has lead to many of them presenting with signs of anxiey, aggression and depression. In fact because my own son’s mental health began to deteriorate after the running down and closure of his day centre in 2006, I obtained an FOI from our NHS Foundation Trust which showed a very sharp increase in the amount of Adults with LD who had been referred to their pyschologists in their adult learning disability service from 2006 until 2011.(starting from 9 in 2006 and peaking in some years to 75 clients) Now the sad outcome of this information is that no one in authority wishes to know about it, despite bringing these shocking figures to the attention of the LA, (Bromley LB), my MP. Bob Neil, the DoH and Royal Mencap. If these figures related to any other group in our society there would be an uproar leading to media inquiries and questions in Parliament. It would be interesting to know if this was happening all over the country and perhaps parents should obtain FOI ‘s from their local mental health services to find out, a suggestion I hoped Mencap would take up, but alas no joy!

      • Sam Callanan permalink

        Hi Pauline,

        I’d be really interested in seeing those figures. If you can send them to me at research@mencap.org.uk I’d be very happy to take a look.

        Thanks,

        Sam

  8. Weary Mother permalink

    Sally
    To my shame I had seen them in this shop before and I had done nothing. This second time I pointed out that the young people were obviously unhappy. and what/who was this ‘outing’ for . The carers were all wearing loggo’s of an agency on sweatshirts. They insisted (sheepishly) that their ‘charges’ enjoyed shopping.and left noisily. I felt conspicuous and quite uncomfortable as other shoppers looked at me as though I was the problem. I did not report them for I felt little would change…I think, but perhaps I was just too tired. For I should have done…

    • Sally permalink

      Good for you saying something. That was really brave.

      Its odd with the logos on the sweatshirts-usually these people have no visible ID-and sure aren’t behaving professionally-so the only way to challenge them is a direct approach which most of us hesitate to do, and you had the courage.
      I’m sure most agencies would argue that carrying no visible ID is part of a policy not to stigmatise the person being looked after-but it also means they can do what they damn well like .I once saw a young woman in a wheelchair and her carer in a charity shop-the carer hasd thrust the wheelchair INTO a clothes rack so that the young woman, cleary distressed had only rows of clothes in her face-and she didn’t have the mobility to push them away. The charity shop woman challenged-and the huffy carer simply left. There must be another way. I wish there was a panorama stlye expose of what these carers actually DO.

      • Weary Mother permalink

        Sally
        When my son was handed over to an agency by his LA, (his beloved carer sacked..sorry, redundant) I found that he was being taken out into his community by a (totally inexperienced) agency worker who wore a short white nurse jacket. I complained to the agency who could not understand my issue. My son is not sick or mad or out for the day from a secure institution. He has lived, gone to school etc in his community all his life and has lived in his flat for 20 years. He did not mind the white coat, he was just so sad about his sacked carer. I explained to him that people would think he was sick or about to bite them in the leg, if this lady wore her white coat when they went out. This agency had no experience of working with people with LD before they won the contract (only worked with/for older people in their own home).

  9. Steven permalink

    Really very depressing to be read but completely true. Thank you for writing about it so well.

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