Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Big Mistake

Every day newspapers can produce a story that provokes a strong reaction. For me, today, it is the story here:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2418630/Basingstoke-schoolgirl-banned-classroom-hair-short-charity-head-shave.html

Now let me clarify. I am NOT a Daily Mail reader. But someone published this link on Twitter (which is my chosen daily newspaper) and I read it and seethed. This is just my opinion, of course, but how badly did her school handle this?

Look at the bottom of the article to see her with hair. It must have been a huge decision to part with such a beautiful head of hair.

Should we not be praising young people who feel strongly about charity and helping others? Should they not have had a quiet word with her about her shaved head but asked her permission to use the story for Press coverage and great PR about the altruism of their students? Should they not have had an assembly with her on the stage and mentioned to the masses that although school generally does not tolerate extreme hairstyles, in this case the girl had raised £1000 for a cancer charity and as such she should be an excellent role model? Should they not have given her the responsibility of organising a charity event in school to raise even more. Think how good they would have looked to the local community. Think of the reaction of her parents, who must feel justifiably proud of her.

But no. They put her in isolation for having an extreme hairstyle. Consequently, they now have ‘bad Press’ and have alienated community and lost the trust of parents.

Sometimes, playing by the rules in school can be a bad thing.

 

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Don’t Give Up

A while ago, I shared my thoughts on respite care for full-time carers. At that time, I was feeling ‘carer guilt’ at looking for somewhere for dad while I took a little break. It took a few phone calls and a couple of visits but I think I have been successful in my mission.

You know when you visit a place and it just feels right? Well, that’s how it felt when I walked into this place. It smelled lovely, the residents were happy and smiling and happy to chat. One lady told my dad that he wouldn’t want to go home again after staying there. ‘It’s wonderful’ she said.

We had a good look around and were so impressed with the facilities. Lovely communal rooms, lovely bedrooms with mini fridge and wet room. The staff were understanding and positive. The local environment is beautiful.

Today, the Manager came out to see us to do a pre-assessment of dad’s needs. It’s a small world – she had been Manager at dad’s last home for a while. She is an amazing lady and we warmed to her instantly. Nothing was too much trouble for her. What did dad enjoy? She would ensure that he had everything he liked for his stay. Gin and tonic? Red wine? Lager? She said she would ensure he got it.

We talked for ages and she made notes. When she left she gave him a hug. Dad told me he feels really happy about going there for a break and I feel confident that he will be well looked after for his stay. All being well, we should be able to have the occasional break now and he will be happy to call this place his home from home. If the worst comes to the worst and his health deteriorates to the point where I can no longer care for him, it means he will know the staff and routines there and it would be the natural choice for his continuing care.

No more ‘carer guilt’. I have a big grin on my face today.