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Be A Ninja. Do The Ninja.

March 29, 2016

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 needย 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 – pleaseย 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.

Thank you.

And finally, some tidy Ninja steps for you all to practice for Seven Days of Action:


From → Social Care

  1. Jan permalink

    Brilliant! We have already written to Heidi Allan, David Cameron, Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell, Norman Lamb, Luciana Berger, Debbie Abrahams, Nicola Sturgeon for each petition. Today will forward new blog to our local Head of Safeguarding :>)

    • Leo andrade permalink

      Jan I also written to Jeramy he is my MP. Also to Alister Burt. And a few others. Thank you for support the warrior mums and marks blog. Leo

  2. Leo andrade permalink

    Love it Mark I thank you. In the name of the warrior autism mums. I am so grateful for your help. Fabulous writing. X. Leo.

  3. Shirley Buckley permalink

    Yes brilliant. And the poem heart rending

  4. weary mother permalink

    Just watched Virginia Derbyshire prog on BBC2 on child abuse

    Awesome youth worker her guest, has spent decades of her life meeting every obstruction and much more, plus personal attacks on her integrity and her motives from Public organisations and others, in order to expose and bring to justice the vile abusers of so many, many children. She said today her only motive was ‘every child deserves a childhood’.

    Her experience as she related it today mirrors the experiences of legions of similarly brilliant parents of learning disabled and autistic sons and daughters who like her have fought for years for justice and a full life for them; and like her they have been dismissed, and offended against rather than supported and cared for by similar blind, deaf and aggressive defensive Public Servants and Systems.

    Every learning disabled and or autistic son or daughter deserves what she sought for all children:

    j=Jstice and a valued and safe life.

    Power to the Ninjas

    • Hoping Victoria Derbyshire runs the 7 Days of Action story.

      • Leo permalink

        Woooooo lets hope so. ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป

    • Leo permalink

      Sorry. Did you mean. Victoria. ?

  5. weary mother. permalink

    Hope Victoria does as good a job for 7 Days of Action as she did today, for it had excellent time and coverage. Brilliant.

    Am useless with names…old brain/dodgy memory x

    • weary mother permalink

      (Above, did not appear for hours so I thought it did not ‘send’, probably held for moderation again. (So repeated it below. Repetition NOT due to old brain dodgy memory…this time)

  6. weary mother permalink

    I hope so too, for she is an excellent journalist.

    Apologies for getting Victoria’s name wrong, A slip; passion against such dreadful wrongs overcame my concentration x

  7. Cinnamon permalink

    Quick question from a would-be data ninja….where can I find out how many people from my county/MH trust are currently detained in ATUs?

  8. Leo permalink

    You can get your local authority to disclose it. Although they may say they can’t give you that information if they are in ATUs they are under the MHCA so they may say it’s data protection. And unless you have a real reason to know that they may say that it’s not in their best interests to divulge that information.

    I know that because when my son went to a ATU 3 years ago, and I started my campaign to bring my son home. A local charity who knew me and my son very well called Islington council to find that very same question. They denied they had any.
    Other then Stephen my son at St. Andrews Northampton.

    Then a Bbc journalist friend of a friend spoke to me and asked me that and I referred him to that charity organisation.
    And it took about 3 months of shaming Islington for them to admit how many.
    They live covering their Arses pardon my language. Leo.

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