Stronger Together – 7 days of Action
The 7 days of action are a lifetime of action. The next horrendous story could be one of our children or someone we know. As families we are all too aware of this.
For those of us who don’t have children and young people in ATUs, we still sit here with a sense of fear; a stomach-churning, genuine fear that this could happen to any one of us. Even though the needs of our young people may be quite different, we have a rotten, sick, sinking feeling as we read the horrors of the ATUs.
At Bringing Us Together, our commitment to the 7 days of action is to show solidarity.
On 5 June, together with Respond we are bringing families together, to share their experiences, build strength, and to give some sort of glimmer of “hope and encouragement” to those families with their children in ATUs. This is something Paula Rawnsley told us, in her post, that she did NOT receive.
Our kids are dehumanised by society, by the agencies, by some of the services that are there to supposedly help us. Our kids become a service user, a budgetary figure; they lose their identity, they become a statistic, not a person. People stop thinkinging that our kids are real people with hopes, dreams and desires.
The providers, the commissioners and others spending vast sums of money on provision, provision which can be poor, inadequate and in some cases, inhumane, still somehow, feel as if they have done their job. They sleep at night.
We however, as parents and families, know that our job is never done. Parenthood is not a job, it is so much more. Like LB’s Mum said “we are NOT stakeholders” in our child’s life. Stakeholders have a say. Stakeholders are listened to. Stakeholders sleep. More importantly, stakeholders can walk away.
We can’t walk away. We don’t have often have a say. We can’t delegate or resign when the going gets tough. We can’t pass the buck when we don’t want to deal with something. We can’t walk away from subjects we don’t like reading about; we can’t just turn a page and move on. For us this is not something we do for a living, we live and breathe it every day, all day.
Whilst stakeholders sleep at night, we are awake, either with worry about our kids’ future, worry that we will die and what happens to our kids then, or we are up through the night doing meds, or listening to a child banging their head continuously through the night against the wall.
Stronger Together – 5 June
The demand for places has exceeded all of our expectations. This, in itself, speaks of the fears and concerns of families.
We have given priority to families with children/young people currently in ATUs or those who have been. Places will be confirmed over the next week.
We have a waiting list of people who want to come, so if you are interested in the event or any future ones, please email Katie@bringingustogether.org.uk
Debs is one of the co-founders and Directors of Bringing Us Together. She is mum to three child with a variety of SEND and has a great husband.