Tuesday, 26 August 2008

summer fun....

Well, I have been very busy of late. Too busy to blog, but not too busy to have a good old nosey around the 'blogosphere' or whatever 18 year old spotty googly tycoon calls it...lots of fab stuff out there, really inspirational..!

Anyhoo, apart from trench foot and the remnants of a fake tan, I have very little to show for this summer...I didn't go away or take any time off. I am bloody knackered. I spent the summer working on the estate delivering 'summer activities' to a largely disinterested group of people. Apart from 2 notable exceptions (worthy of a posting all to themselves) the families just didn't engage..I've come to the conclusion that there was just too much on offer and this meant that decisions had to be made and these families cannot cope with this - they are used to someone else making the decision for them, so remain passive and inactive....plus the weather didn't help.

One particular day is worth reporting. We took a group of 12 kids to a local prison as part of a crime diversion programme. Facinating. They had broken a seatbelt before we had even left the estate. One (almost tootless) 15 yearold spent the entire journey chomping through tube after tube of chewits. The noise level in the bus was almost unbearable and broke several EU directives on decibel limits I'm sure. Their behaviour was atrocious. Once inside the prison, they became even more excitable. All saw the trip an opportunity to show how tough and unafraid they were...until we met the prisioners who were our 'hosts' for the day.

All were male, middle aged and very sad. Two were lifers, one was just 25 and all had kids on the outside. The were nice blokes, literate, articulate, someone you would not think was involved in criminality in any way if you met them in the street. They went to great lengths to tell their stories to these kids. They explained that there was no such thing as petty crime - crime was crime. They told of their daily feeling of loss and loneliness and how prison had affected their families. They were ashamed and were remourseful. They were inspirational and I wish I could take every youngster who carries a knife or runs drugs or commits criminal damage to see just what happens to kids who get caught up in crime.

Did the visit have an impact on the kids from the estate? Three older boys were very affected and visibly moved. You could see the penny dropping right there in that room. The rest of the kids? I couldn't really say - except that we had to stop the mini bus three times on the way back to deal with their behaviour including throwing out the broken seatbelt thorough the window at 50 miles and hour. Some kids just don't get it.


Maggie May said...

Came to you via Retired & Crazy!
Well if only three of the bunch of youngsters were affected, then that trip to the prison was really worth it.
The rest of them seem unaffected but who knows........ something might have sunk in. Their behaviour sounds awful!
I think it is a very good idea to send kids of this age to see what the prisoners & prison is really like.
Good post!

auntiegwen said...

I think if any of them get it, it's been worth it.

Sometimes it so hard but there are some people who just won't listen, kids and adults, and unfortunately they are unable/unwilling to learn from others mistakes.

BarbaraS said...

If the penny dropped with some of them, then you've made some inroads, and that would be a success. We can only hope in the end.
I think auntiegwen has said it very well, too.

Anonymous said...

Better a few 'got it' than none at all. I take my Borsalino off to you I really do. I think in another life I would like to have been a foster mother. there are no truly evil kids, are there? No tiny baby grows up to be bad without some force driving them, poverty,abuse, socially deprived environment? And yet for every child suffering any one or all of those causes there are a hundred who choose to fight against it and survive. I admire your dedication.

Retiredandcrazy said...

Hi, thanks for visiting me. I would like to go back to '70's style policing. These little thugs need someone to bully them into submission then maybe they would all "get it". This PC stuff simply doesn't work. You are a hero. Keep up the good work.

Millennium Housewife said...

But worth trying, well done you MH