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Pictures of Nothing

June 14, 2016

Following on from yesterday’s post, I had a strangely tearful start to this morning. When I came downstairs, Steven had already breakfasted and was looking through a photo album of snaps from 2003-2007. He started chatting about the photo below. I remember it well. It was the day we met the transition manager to adult services for the first time. I had just got back from the gym and my wife who had been round with the hoover three times already was nagging me to get changed before our “future” arrived.


The photo could have been taken today (although I look a lot less beefy these days) but seeing us sitting there set me off. We were so naïve. So gullible. Completely unaware of the horror of what transition into adult services actually entails. The afternoon before we became aware of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of Nothing.

I had a dream last night that I haven’t processed yet. I was part of a group of people invited to the House of Commons to witness the debate about LBBill. I kept interrupting the speakers. A Conservative Lady Peer started to frown at me. We went for a drink afterwards and I spilled my pint all over Richard Huggins’ best suit. I’m not sure why I’m telling you this but it feels relevant.

Anyway, here’s some photos of what Nothing (and Something) looks like.

Here is the living room where Steven currently lives. He is so content and safe here. Every morning he comes downstairs, opens the curtains, sets up his picture chart for the day and says, “Good morning Cowley. Good morning Mr Bean”:

Living room 1Living room 3Living room 2

Hillingdon’s only response to Steven’s homelessness once the road is demolished is to say I have to bid for properties for him on Locata search. Yesterday, there was one property. A 2 bedroom flat on the top floor of this place:

Rabbs Mill House

At the same time, me and Steven’s advocate have been looking at properties to buy or rent in Cowley. Both these options are reliant on Hillingdon agreeing to supporting the housing costs. Here’s a sample of one to buy and one to rent, both within about a five minute walk from Steven’s current home:



The first is a 2 bedroom house to buy: the second is a 2 bedroom ground floor maisonette.

My biggest fear, and I guess is where the tears are coming from, is that by doing nothing, Hillingdon will leave it to the last minute and offer two options. One of their awful, low staffed, supported living studio flats. Or worse. Here –

St Andrews


From → Social Care

  1. homelessness is undoubtedly a passport to ‘ placement ‘. The bidding/transfer and exchange options are soul destroying , I realise any number of issues from age covenants,accessibility and local connection restrictions void the entire list month on month for many. It is good news if Steven is are able to go the route of homeownership.

  2. Debra permalink

    I would like to think that you and Steven would get some helpful advice from the incredible staff at H & SA maybe.?

  3. Jayne knight permalink

    Over my dead body and boy I tell you Mark I never give up! Neither do you! How dare they even put that fear again into your head and make you cry. Boiling with fury here.

  4. I remember, the first time, I heard the word, ‘transition’, it was in Issy’s 15 year old education review meeting, in her NAS residential school.

    A lady with a title of, I think, Transition Coordinator, was sat in the meeting.

    She gave no explanation, other than Issy’s would soon be in ‘transition’, but she said.’ we need not worry about that yet’, which begged the question, why she was there.

    Ironically, NAS, had refused to give Issy, the 38 week placement we wanted, on the excuse she could not cope with ‘transitions’, as this placement residents lived 5 miles from school, as opposed to the 52 week placements, who lived next door.

    It was ignored, that Isy had by then for 10 years, been three times to Ireland per year, and 5 times to Spain, and would be going home nearly every weekend— where these not transitions ?

    Any Humpty Dumpty- a word means what we say nonsense, accepted, when you have the power.

    How many transmissions, will all the poor encaged supported living autistic make, as they are for ever moved, bought up, and, made more profitable.

  5. Bloody love you, Jayne Knight. Making the world a better place every day.

  6. Just a thought, have you looked at mysafehome website? Not sure, but maybe they can help.

  7. simone permalink

    Mark bare my ignorance – what is the last picture of – I realise its not a home for Steven – what is it?

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