Day 5: 107 stories from an assessment and treatment unit #107days

Yesterday we featured WiseGrannie who is a relatively new online voice to the discussions around care and support for people with learning disabilities. Today, we feature Mark Neary and his son Steven, both experts by (bitter/shameful/appalling) experience who have been at the front of the queue when it comes to generously sharing their knowledge and wisdom with others.

Steven + Mark Neary

Mark has a very personal reason for getting involved with #107days and #JusticeforLB:

Steven went away for 3 days respite on 30th December 2009. The following day I stupidly agreed to him being moved to an assessment and treatment unit. 3 days turned into 2 weeks and it finally took 358 days for him to be returned home. In his time in the hellhole, he was unlawfully deprived his Article 5 & Article 8 human rights. The scars are still there for him and me.

I’d like to keep assessment and treatment units in the news until they’re gone for good.

Mark has shared their experience in book form, if you’d like to read more then Get Steven Home and There’s Always Something or Other with Mr Neary provides the background. The titles alone speak volumes. For #107days Mark is sharing 107 stories from Steven’s time in an assessment and treatment unit. He started slightly ahead of us and so far has shared ten stories including Shoes and Beards and Bryan Ferry and Challenging Behaviour. I promise you will laugh and cry and shake your head in disbelief, it’s powerful stuff.

Just last week Mark has also shared two post on his personal blog that bear striking resemblance to LB’s family’s experience to date: A Smile, A Shrug, A Sob and A Stab and the follow up A Smile, A Shrug, A Sob and A Security Alert. It seems there is a pattern to what can be expected, suffice to say that sense prevailed in the end for Mark and Steven, and we take strength from them, and won’t be going anywhere until things change, permanently, for young dudes and dudettes, and until we have some Justice for LB.

We’re very grateful to Mark for sharing his and Steven’s experience with us through #107days. You can follow him on twitter here @MarkNeary1 and you can wish him a Happy Birthday for today too!!

Day 4: 107 lessons from dudes and dudettes #107days

One of the most encouraging things that has already happened as a result of #JusticeforLB is the number of new online voices. We know of at least three new blogs and many more twitter accounts that have been established to join the conversation around #JusticeforLB and some specifically as a result of #107days. For anyone who doesn’t blog I think its fair to say that for some it is a rather hard hurdle to jump initially. Who is going to read it? What if people don’t like it? Why would anyone care about what I have to say? Well let me reassure you if you’re considering it, every voice is valuable and the internet is a truly brilliant way to connect with others, who are genuinely interested in your experience and views, and if they aren’t they’ll not hang around, but that’s ok too. Not saying anything means you play it safe, but your voice isn’t heard. A real loss, everyone has something worth saying.

Some of these new online voices are sharing, quite brilliantly already, experiences and wisdom gleaned from many years working with, living with or sharing lives with dudes and dudettes. One of these new voices is Wise Grannie, you can connect with her on twitter @WiseGrannie or read her blog http://WiseGrannie.wordpress.com.

WiseGrannie

WiseGrannie describes herself as:

Possibly made every mistake in the book as teacher, mother, daughter, wife, trainer, friend, carer and colleague, but I did try to be kind.

and gives her reason for blogging as:

Hoping to help Justice for LB by blogging the good, funny and surprising things I learnt from all the young Dudes and Dudettes I foolishly imagined I was teaching (long ago when the world was young).

WiseGrannie has committed to blogging a story a day and so far she has had us roaring with laughter and sniffling back a few tears, they are definitely worth a read. Start here for her first post that provides context: To begin at the beginning. Can’t wait to see what more she has to share.