Week 15: The best dude #107days

We’re coming to the end of #107days second time around. Last night we had the premiere of The Tale of Laughing Boy, a 15 minute film about LB that we’ll share here on Day 107 tomorrow. Our penultimate post is from Tom, LB’s younger brother, sharing his thoughts and reflections. The photo is a still from the film, pencil out 15mins of your weekend now to enjoy it. For now, over to Tom:

I’ve always wanted to write a guest post, it has always striked me as something I should do. It’s the week of the film and having taken part in the film, my mum thought it would be fitting to do a post on that.

From the minute I heard about the film I was already 100% on board, obviously because I wanted to tell the great stories I have collected from 13 years of living with him and also maybe because I love films… but mainly the first reason. I was surprisingly comfortable in front of the GIANT CAMERA!!!! I think it’s just that if you know the stories from the countless amounts of times you’ve told them and you are talking about something you really care about then your not going to be nervous because you are so sure of everything you will say before you say it.

In some ways it’s fun because you aren’t just telling a story, you are reliving it in your mind, and you feel the same emotions you did at the time. Which, when discussing Connor, is pretty much constantly laughter and happiness.

I always remember Connor’s bus mat… to the average eye it was a map of a town with some roads on it, but to Connor it was Sandford, a huge city with a fully operational bus system that never failed. It had everything a city needs, shops, houses, animals, pedestrians and even a playmobil harbour. Each with it’s own set of strict rules on how it operates and how it can be ‘played with’. Having shared a room with Connor for 10 years or so and listening to the intricate thought process that went in to controlling a town of this magnitude, I can honestly say their is no city better than Sandford and I’m pretty sure I would live there if it was real.

That wasn’t Connor’s favourite city though, London was by far his favourite place on Earth. He loved it, I think it was the transport system to be honest, the idea of a city with a bus going pretty much everywhere was his dream place. One birthday of his we went to the Tower of London, his love of history and London combined, what could go wrong. Well, apart from the fact we never actually got in, huge amounts of traffic meant that after 6 or so hours on buses, when we finally arrived at the Tower of London it was closed. All us kids were so annoyed “all that travel for nothing!”

It was Connor my parents were worried about though, how would he react to the fact we weren’t actually going to the Tower. He did not care one bit, he spent the whole day in London on buses, a perfect day for him. That’s one of the amazing things about Connor, he is so easy to be pleased and enjoys such small things, and it really is amazing.

I read a lot of the stories about how people who never met Connor feel like they know him and that they love him through the tales on the blog, and this really amazes me. To me the idea of someone you don’t know changing your life tends to be a celebratory, writer or film maker. I love to think of how Connor would react if you told him hundreds of thousands of people were reading stories about him and laughing.

I picture him smiling with glee then turning away from his laptop and saying:

Did they like it, Tom?

yeah, they loved it


At the time this question would annoy me so much…

“Idk Connor!!! the stories are funny”

He would always ask ‘why’ to everything and my 12 year old brain ran out of reasons pretty quickly. But now I know what I would say:

“Did they like it, Tom?”

“yeah, they loved it”


“Because you are the best dude in the world!”

Day 17: A dude named Adam #107days

When we were organising #107days Meraud got in touch with us, she’d read about #JusticeforLB and LB’s love of buses and she was involved supporting Adam, a dude who loves buses as much as LB. Adam and Meraud adopted today to go on a mammoth tour of Brighton on a bendy bus, however, an opportunity to goto London (also loved by LB) with a local youth group (BHip) arose and today they are off to the big smoke. We share their story today, as a story of hope and possibility and we’re grateful to them both for sharing.


We start with an intro to Adam:

Adam is a dude. He is 15 (almost 16) and a typical teenager – he wants to do what he wants to do and when he wants to do it! Adam has some pretty cool people working with him too. Due to Adam’s additional needs (Fragile X, Autism, and learning difficulties) and challenging behaviour, he has 1:1 for 3 hours every day after school, all day Saturday, and full time during the school holidays. When Adam is out and about he has 2:1 to manage any potential risks. Adam has very special relationships with everyone he works with.

A little from Meraud about why she wanted to get involved:

One of the things that really struck me about the many failings in the assessment unit was the lack of interaction between staff and the young people.  I have worked with Adam, and many other individuals with learning difficulties, and I find it incredible that the culture of the staff was to be so ‘non-involved’.  I love my job because I get to work with such unique and interesting people – sometimes I have to find a different way of approaching communication and I most definitely have to be prepared to make fool of my self on occasions (how often do you see a grown women pretending to be an elephant on public transport?!) but these are the things that make my day exciting and fun. LB was entrusted in to the care of others and he should have been treated like a precious cargo with staff striving to find a way of making him laugh and smile, as his family knew he could.

Meraud has produced a brilliant document that introduces Adam and his relationship with his team. You can read it all here, featuring Adam, Sian, Ashley, Sherie and of course Meraud. Describing their own relationship Meraud says:

I have worked with Adam for 13 years now – in that time I have seen him grow from an anxious little boy into the confident young man that he is now… Spending time with Adam is a pleasure and, even when things are a little bit tricky and his behaviour is more difficult to manage, it is always a privilege to be a part of his life…  He is a superstar!

Meraud is also at pains to acknowledge the love and support of Adam’s family. It’s worth a read and paints such a positive picture of what could be, with the right support and humility.

Everyone working together gives Adam the best chance at succeeding in everything that he does.