Wow. What a day. Camino LB came to Cowley. It’s that old Field of Dreams line again – “People will come…” And boy, did they come. Love. Solidarity. Humour. Spirit. It was all there. Three hours later and I still feel very moved to have been part of something so special.
We started at Cowley Lock and despite the puddles, walked along the towpath to Packet Boat bridge. Then across the Cowley High Road and down to Steven’s current community placement. The second half of the walk took us to the ATU Steven was detained in and from there we recreated the route Steven took the night he escaped from the unit, barefoot and in his pyjamas. I’ve told the story of Steven’s escape many times but I got totally spooked today imagining him walking through that unlit graveyard at 8 oclock on an October evening.
Along the way we heard many moving stories of families being attacked by the social care system. Stories to rage and weep about. But the stoicism and downright humanity of the families left a strong sense of hope amidst the violence. And it was important to remember we were doing the walk to honour those people who had died preventable deaths – the ultimate violence.
I was proud of Steven for popping out to greet us en-route. After a quick chat about the 1998 Record of the Year programme, he wanted to know who everyone was.
It feels mean to pick anyone out because everyone really stepped up to the plate today but I want to give a huge fist pump to Tom who multitasked like a good ‘un. One minute he was Mark Owen; the next Mr Bean. He also captured the “14 pairs of feet” photo.
It was also weird but brilliant to have a face time chat with Sara, Alicia and the crew doing the big Camino walk in Spain. It put one in mind of Katie Boyle hosting Two Way Family Favourites.
Here are the memories from today:
And finally, what Terrence Mann might have said about the day: