Be A Ninja. Do The Ninja.
This is a shameless plug alert but I hope you’ll forgive me.
A few weeks back, I was invited to join a social media group that is made up, in the main, of mothers of children who are trapped in ATUs. Despite some good stuff going on behind the scenes, it was felt that an extra push was needed to bring these people home, or to a new home of their own. Out of several discussions, Seven Days of Action was born.
Seven Days of Action will start on Monday 18th April and will run each day until the 24th. To anchor the campaign, a blog has been produced. Each day during the week of action, a different story will feature on the blog. Five of the stories centre on dudes who are currently being held in ATUs, one day will be devoted to Thomas Rawnsley and the final day will look at the stories of some people who are now home after spending years in ATUs.
To get a brief flavour, here is a link to the home page of the blog, which includes some songs and films about life in an ATU:
We have also published early, a poem by Nina Ni, whose son Tianze, has just been moved to his fourth ATU in two years. One day, just before Christmas, Nina went to visit Tianze. He was upset as he wasn’t allowed to come home for Christmas. All visits were supervised and the family weren’t allowed to go out into the grounds. At one point, Tianze became agitated and five members of staff pinned him down on the floor. His parents were immediately ordered to leave. As she was being pushed through the door, Nina looked back at Tianze. The look in his eyes, inspired this poem:
The week is called Seven days of Action and boy, do we need some action. We will be attempting to get a lot of press and media attention for the blog and the stories it contains. If you have any press or media contacts, please send the link to the blog to them and ask them to get involved.
For families, friends and allies – we need you to pass on details of the action week to as many people as possible. Write to your MPs. Contact your local charities. Badger your local commissioning groups. Invite as many people as you can think of to step up for some Ninja action.
For social care & mental health professionals – please put aside an hour in your team meeting that week and discuss the stories in the blog. Reflect on your own practice. Consider what you could be doing to help these people return home.
For legal people – likewise, please put some time aside to look at the legal issues that these stories throw up. Human Rights don’t seem to be on the radar in any of the cases. Please consider how best these families can challenge the detentions.
For academics – contained in these stories are plenty of material for some pretty meaty research projects. Is this something you could contribute to the campaign?
For advocates – Is there any support or advice you can offer to the families? As I help compile these stories, decent advocacy seems to be sorely lacking in several of the cases.
We can all do something.
Please pencil the 18th April into your diaries and sign up to follow the blog. It won’t be an easy read. The stories are horrific in their brutality. But they need to be read and heard and acted upon.
And finally, some tidy Ninja steps for you all to practice for Seven Days of Action:
From → Social Care