A moving letter
Following the recent Heathcotes Fun Day at Doncaster Rugby Club, we received a lovely email from Mrs Linda S, who used the 'Contact Us' function of our new website to share her thoughts about the event; we were so moved by her email that, with her permission, it is reproduced in full below:
"I would like this email to be passed to the director of your company.
I am the mother of a 15 year old autistic boy who is classed as severe and has complex behaviours. I recently went to my mothers and noticed an advert for a funday. We expressed an interest in attending as it was a short walk from her home. We first went onto your website to see what company Heathcotes was as it was sponsoring the event. I then looked on with great interest and explored the full site as it was about people with autism.
This swayed us to attend the event. When i arrived with my son I asked the person on the gate who was in charge, I was pointed in the direction of your behaviour nurse (Keeley Ward). As I made my way over to ask for information on your company I could see that she was with a young man who had obviously got a learning disability. I stood back and watched the interaction. I was amazed how easy it was to tell someone with so much fondness for the patient and likewise back. The interaction was effortless and it was refreshing to see someone treat learning disabled as real people!!
I approached and asked for information on your organisation. I was given a brochure pack to take away for later but was given a run down of the company and it`s ethos. With the recent bad press on abuse in care homes I have been put off from placing my son when he turns 18 but came away with a new perspective and actually felt myself planning 3 years down the line and wanting to explore Heathcotes! The pride and passion she had for being involved with the company was obvious. She interacted with my son and took him to play football. Normally he will not talk to any strangers so I was amazed to see him at ease with her and not clinging onto me. She introduced me to a family of a young man in your care and they were quite happy to talk to me. Whilst D was playing football they shared their own anxieties about their son going into care. They had nothing but praise for your company and the care you give their son. When I told them how amazed I was that D had gone off with Keeley they said that they first met her at their home and were blown away by her enthusiasm and positivity. They say they had explored many other homes and they were so at ease with Keeley that they had no hesitation in placing their son with you.
It gives me great pleasure to write this email as carers always seem to get negative press. It is nice to see people that genuinely care and go out of their way to ensure people with disabilities are involved. During my chat she was approached by 3 patients and each time acknowledged them (so often I see people ignore them when they are talking to others). they all wanted to spend time with her and throughout the afternoon I was drawn back to watching her interact with them. I then saw her own PAT dog which again highlighted the fact that someone is so committed that they train their dog to benefit those she obviously adores.
I wish your company every success and enjoyed the event tremendously. I just hope that when it comes to the right time I too can find a company with very skilled and positive staff.