The Virus

 

four characters

Amy doesn’t understand
Why she can’t see her friends,
Or make visits to her family
Which she does most weekends

Brenda says, “it’s because there is a virus
Which can make us very ill,
So, we need to stay at home
To keep us safe and well,

The Green Gates Centre’s closed now
And so are most shops too,
We can’t go to the pub or café
And do the things we like to do”

Amy starts to walk away,
She doesn’t want to hear
Any more about the virus
What it does and why it’s here.

So Amy walks up to her bedroom
And she shuts the door,
Then she sits there quietly
On her bedroom floor

Now, downstairs in the kitchen
Brenda makes a mug of tea
Then sits in her favourite chair
And turns on the TV

Suddenly the phone rings,
And when she answers, it is Gary,
He wants to have a chat with them
Because he knows they’re lonely

Gary says, “how are you feeling
And how is my friend Amy”?
I miss you both and want to check
That you’re both okay today

Brenda tells him about Amy,
And how they feel alone
Missing friends and family
Now they have to stay at home

Gary listens carefully,
Suggests they video call
So they can see friends and family
And the team at Green Gates too

They can do this on their smart phone
Or on a tablet or iPad
It’s a way to see each other
And join up with their friend Jack

Brenda listens as he explains
How to download the app
That will start the video call,
What to do and how to chat

Then they start to make a plan
A list of things that they can do
When they are both home alone
Like everyone else is too;

Write a story, bake a cake
Do a quiz and have a laugh,
Draw pictures, sing a song
Play music, have a dance

Learn to do a video call
To talk to family
Have a chat with all their friends
So they don’t feel lonely

It is later on that day
When Amy comes downstairs
That Brenda talks about Gary
And the list they’ve shared

Amy sits down on her chair
And looks at the list
Then Amy adds some other things
That she thinks they’ve both missed

So what do you think Amy
Will really like to do,
And is there anything else
You think that she would choose?

And do you have some top tips
Of things to do at home
For those who don’t have internet
Or even a smart phone?

We don’t know how long it will be
Before things will change
To do things we want to do
And see the ones we love again

So, while we are all at home
Let’s find ways to keep in touch
With our friends and family
Who we miss so very much

Brenda’s in love

 

page49

Brenda’s got a boyfriend

And his name is Carl,

They met at the club night

As they waited at the bar.

 

They chatted as they waited

Asked each other where they lived,

They talked about their friends

And about all the things they did.

 

They moved on to the dance floor

And danced together all that night,

Brenda was so happy

And everything felt right.

 

Now they’ve been going out all summer

To the cinema and the pub,

For lunches at the café

And days out on the bus.

 

Each night when Brenda goes to sleep

Carl is in her dreams

And they are getting married

These dreams always seem so real.

 

Brenda tells her housemate, Amy,

One day she’ll be engaged

Because Carl really loves her,

And Brenda feels the same.

 

One day Amy went to town,

She went there on a bus

And who do you think she saw there?

It was Carl with someone else.

 

So, when Amy went home that day

She told Brenda who she’d seen

But Brenda wouldn’t believe her

She said that Amy was being mean.

 

Brenda tried to phone Carl

Many times that day,

But Carl wasn’t answering

All she heard was his voicemail.

 

So that evening at the club night

Brenda waited by the bar

And Amy sat beside her

Looking out for Carl.

 

Suddenly they saw him

But Carl was not alone,

He was with another girl

Something was very wrong.

 

Carl was holding this girls’ hands

And looking into her eyes,

They didn’t see Brenda standing there

So Carl got a big surprise.

 

When Brenda started shouting

Everyone turned to stare,

They were all pointing at her

But Brenda didn’t care.

 

Carl shouted back at Brenda,

“I don’t love you anymore,

I’ve got a new girlfriend now

And I want to be with her”

 

Brenda started crying,

Carl told her to go away!

But Brenda said “I love you,

Please, just let me stay!”

 

Then Amy was by her side

She said “leave them alone,

I don’t like to see you crying

We need to go back home”

 

Brenda didn’t want to go,

She wanted Carl to herself

But Carl didn’t want her

And she didn’t want anyone else.

 

So now it’s three months later,

Brenda’s been angry and she’s cried,

She thought Carl was forever

And now it’s like he’s died.

 

Amy has tried to help

And so, have others too,

But Brenda can’t stop thinking of Carl

He’s in her head the whole day through!

 

So how could you help Brenda

Is there something she should do?

And has something like this happened

To someone you know or to you?

 

Do you have some good advice?

Can you help Brenda to move on,

So that she can learn to love again

And find that special one?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Buses

 

 

Amy locks her front door

and pulls her hat down tight,

as she walks along the street

towards the traffic lights

 

There, Amy waits until

it’s safe to cross over,

then she keeps on walking

down the street and round the corner

 

Amy is going in to town

so she waits here for the bus

and when Amy sees it arrive

she starts to feel nervous

 

Amy watches from the bus stop

when the driver opens up the door,

her heart is beating faster now

as she looks down at the floor

 

When Amy shows her bus pass

the driver grabs it from her hand

then says something to her

which she doesn’t understand

 

Next, she falls against a pushchair

as the bus begins to move

then Amy trips over a bag

that gets caught up in her shoe

 

As the bus moves faster

Amy looks for a place to sit

and when someone shouts her

she gets even more upset

 

When the bus arrives in town

and it comes to the last stop,

Amy struggles to the front because

she can’t wait to get off

 

This has been a stressful journey,

Amy needs to get away,

to find somewhere quiet

and she knows the perfect place

 

Amy walks towards the cafe

she knows the people there,

they make sure that she is safe

and show her to favourite chair

 

Her friend Gary is in the cafe

He comes over to say “hi,”

and when he sees Amy is upset

Gary asks her, why?

 

When Amy tells him about her journey

on the bus to town

he listens very carefully and

Amy starts to calm down

 

Then Gary says to Amy,

“I think we need a list

because bus journeys should be better

so let’s think of our top tips”

 

“Then when we’ve got a list

we can show this to our friends

to ask them for our ideas

and tell us what they think”

 

So just a few weeks later

they have made their list

and sent it to the bus company

who read all of their top tips

 

So, what do you think,

will be in their top tips?

and what should Amy and Gary

make plans to do next?

 

And do you have some ideas

of things that you would do,

to make all journeys better,

not just on buses, but taxis, trains and planes too?

 

Gary’s Annual Health Check

 

 

 

 

Gary heard about it

in a meeting that took place

at the local health group

when they started  to explain.

 

He listened very carefully

as they made it clear,

that he should have a health check

with his Doctor, every year.

 

They said it’s so important

and explained what to expect,

if he goes to see his Doctor

for his annual health check.

 

Gary sat and listened

and then he said out loud,

“I’ve never had a health check

like the one you talk about.”

 

So they gave him information

which was all in “Easy Read,”

he showed this to his friends

when he met them in the street.

 

Brenda said, “I’m very healthy,

so there’s no need for me to go,”

but Jack and Amy agreed

this was something they should do.

 

Now a few weeks later,

Gary is feeling nervous,

he’s sitting in the waiting room

and then he sees the nurse.

 

She takes him to the Doctor’s room,

tells Gary not to worry,

Says, they are there to help him

and there is no need to hurry.

 

So first of all the Doctor

asks Gary about his health,

if he does any exercise

and then he checks his weight.

 

Next, he examines Gary’s stomach,

checks his eyes, his ears, his feet,

the Doctor asks him lots more questions,

and listens to him breathe.

 

He checks his medication,

he takes some blood to do a test,

and before he says goodbye to Gary

he tells him what will happen next.

 

Later Gary meets his friends,

he tells them about his day,

what happened at the Doctors

and what he had to say.

 

Gary said that he was nervous

before he went in to the room

but the Doctor was really nice

and he has to go back soon.

 

So, just a few months later,

Gary’s been back there again,

he had to have a few more tests

and different medication.

 

Now Gary’s joined his local gym,

he goes there twice a week,

his support worker goes with him

and he’s feeling very fit.

 

Although Gary doesn’t know this,

he’s helped a lot of people

who have been for a health check

and found they were not well.

 

So, have you had an annual health check?

It really is important

that you speak to your Doctor

to ask for an appointment.

 

For more information about annual health checks, visit this website page; http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Childrenwithalearningdisability/Pages/AnnualHealthChecks.aspx

 

©Karen Murray 2017

http://www.magnoliastreet.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bring him home!

Brenda knows him very well

And so does Amy too,

Gary was good friends with him

When they were at school.

They haven’t seen him for a while

Someone said he’d moved away

Then Gary met Pete’s mum

In the town one day.

As she spoke to Gary

She stood there and cried

And explained that Pete

Was now living far away.

Gary listened carefully

But said he didn’t understand,

Why Pete had to move

So far away from home.

Then through her tears she tells him

Pete pushed her down the stairs,

She ended up in hospital

And everyone was scared.

So then there was a meeting

To decide where Pete would go

And it was agreed that Pete

Would move out of his home.

Pete didn’t like these changes

It made his behaviour worse

And then one day she heard

That Pete had hit a nurse.

Then Pete was moved further away,

Now it’s hard to keep in touch

That was two years ago

She misses him so much.

Gary starts to say goodbye

And just as they are leaving,

Pete’s mum turns back to say,

“Next week there is a meeting,

I’m hoping Pete can leave there

And move back to this town

I know that he wants

His friends and family around.”

Gary is upset

As he walks back home,

All that night he thinks about

What Pete is doing now.

Then the very next day

When he’s at the Green Gates centre

He talks about where Pete is

With his friends. Amy and Brenda.

Brenda says, “it’s so upsetting,

I hope Pete gets out of there,

Is this what it means,

When they talk about Transforming Care?”

 Gary looks across at Brenda

And says “I’m not sure,

But we’ve heard these words at meetings

Many times before.”

So they go to the computer

To find out what this means

And search for information

That is easy to read.

They sit and read together

All about Transforming care,

What it is and what should happen

In their local area.

So when they go to their next meeting

They have some questions ready

To ask why someone like Pete

Is still living far away.

Gary explains Pete’s a friend of theirs,

And he’s lived here for many years,

When Gary has finished talking

Many people are in tears.

But now 3 months later

Nothing much for Pete has changed,

He’s still living far away

Because nothing yet has been arranged.

There are lots of talks about funding

And finding the right care

To make sure that Pete is ready

To move away from there

And while Pete is waiting

To move back to his home town

There are many more people like Pete

If you ask around.

So do you know how many

People from your area

Are waiting just like Pete

To get the right support and care?

And how much do you know

About Transforming Care

To make sure people live the life they choose

In your local area?

©Karen Murray2017

 

 

For more information about Transforming Care visit;

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/ld-nat-imp-plan-oct15.pdf

Amy is home alone

page6

Amy is home alone

In the middle of the night,

She has just got into bed

And switched off the light

 

She is very tired,

It has been a busy day

And Amy always worries

When Brenda is away,

 

As Amy pulls the covers

Tight over her head,

She hears a loud beeping noise

Which makes Amy upset

 

She looks out of the window

But it is dark outside,

So Amy wanders round her room

Trying to decide

 

What is making this loud noise

That goes on and on?

Amy wants the noise to stop,

And find out where it’s coming from.

 

So Amy opens up her door,

It is then she sees the smoke

And as she walks down the stairs,

Amy begins to choke

 

She stops and looks around her

Smoke is everywhere

And then she sees the flames

At the bottom of the stairs

 

Amy starts to panic,

She is really scared,

Her house is on fire

And Brenda is not there

 

Then Amy remembers,

The safety training yesterday,

She knows she must phone 999

And do this right away

 

So Amy goes back to her room

And she shuts the door,

Then she picks up her phone

And lies down on the floor

 

Amy phones the number

A woman answers right away,

Amy says there is a fire

And this person asks her name

 

Amy tells her where she lives

That she’s on her own,

The woman says “my name is Jane,

Now please stay on the phone.”

 

“I am here to help you,

The firemen will be there soon,

They will put the fire out and

Get you out of your room.”

 

“But before they get here,

Put your duvet on the floor,

Make sure it is tight along

The bottom of your door”

 

Amy does as she is told,

Then lies back down again

Worrying about Brenda

And what she will say

 

Jane’s still talking on the phone,

But her voice goes quiet,

She sounds as if she’s far away

And then suddenly, it’s dark

 

Amy opens up her eyes

And looks around the room,

There is no phone, she’s in her bed

With her duvet too

 

When Amy opens up her door

There is no smoke or fire,

But she still walks around her house

Checking everywhere

 

When Brenda comes home that night,

Amy talks about her dream,

Brenda says, “we need to practice,

This could have been for real”

 

“We must check our smoke alarm

To make sure that it works,

Then make a plan of how to leave

Our house if it’s on fire.”

 

So have you checked your smoke alarm?

Made a plan of what you’d do,

If your home was on fire

How you’d get out of each room?

 

You can phone the fire service,

Ask them to help you check

To make sure your home is safe

And what you should do next.

 

©Karen Murray 2017

http://www.magnoliastreet.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s wrong, Gary?

Page8

It happened in the afternoon

As Gary walked along the path

And when it was over

He ran home through the park.

 Gary didn’t stop until

He got home and shut the door

And he went into his living room

Then lay down on the floor.

As he lays there quietly

Someone calls his phone

But Gary doesn’t want to answer

He wants to be alone.

Gary tries to block out

The voices in his head,

He doesn’t want to think about

The nasty things they said.

Or they way they pointed at him

And they laughed out loud

As someone kicked and punched him

When Gary fell down on the ground.

Next morning when he wakes up

Gary can’t forget,

So when he meets up with his friends

He is very quiet.

Jack tries hard to make him laugh

Amy gives him a hug

But Gary tells them all

That he has had enough.

As Gary starts to walk back

Jack asks him “what is wrong?”

But Gary doesn’t answer,

He walks home alone.

Jack is really worried

But doesn’t know what he can do,

Many times he tries to phone him

And so does Amy too.

It is two days later

When Brenda hears the news,

She hears about it in the shop

But doesn’t know if this is true.

So Brenda asks her friends

If they’ve heard about the fight,

Did Gary tell them what happened?

And is he alright?

Jack said “I need to speak to him

I want to check he is okay,

To ask him what those boys did

And hear what he has to say.”

But Gary didn’t want to tell his friends,

He didn’t want to speak

And he didn’t want to think about

Those boys from down the street.

But Gary knew he had to tell

Because what happened was wrong,

So Gary spoke to his support worker

And told him what the boys had done

His support worker listened

And explained this was a crime

They reported it together

Later on that night

So why do you think Gary

Didn’t tell his friends?

And what do you think happened

When he saw his friends again?

And what would you do differently

If this happened to you,

Is there someone you could tell,

Or something else that you would do?

 

Brenda’s Safe Place

Page40

Brenda’s Safe Place

Brenda’s going shopping

In another town,

It’s where her favourite shop is

Which she wants to look around.

Brenda’s so excited

As she sits there on the train

Eating crisps and chocolate

And thinking about the day.

When the train gets near the station,

Brenda rushes to the door

But she doesn’t see the bag

Someone has left there on the floor.

Brenda trips and shouts out

When she falls against a chair

But Brenda quickly gets up and

Smiles at the woman sitting there.

The station’s very busy

When Brenda looks around

So she follows a group of people

As they walk towards the town.

Brenda’s feeling confident,

She has been here once before

But as she walks along the street

The shops look different here.

She can’t quite remember

Where the shop is that she likes

So Brenda keeps on walking

But something is not right.

There are only a few shops here

The streets are long and quiet

She is lost and she is worried

Brenda is upset.

She needs to get back to the town

To find her favourite shop

So Brenda keeps on walking

And then suddenly she stops.

Brenda sees a sign she knows

The sign is clear to see,

It’s the Safe Place sign she learnt about

From her friends Jack and Amy.

So Brenda goes inside the shop

And gets out her purse,

She walks up to the counter

Feeling very nervous.

The man listens to Brenda

As she looks at him and says,

“I am lost, I don’t know where I am,

Can you help me please?”

Brenda opens up her purse

To show her Safe Place card

And she explains about the shop

She was looking for.

He listens very carefully

Then says, “you’ve come too far,

You’ve walked a long way from

That shop you were looking for.”

Now Brenda’s worried but then she says,

“I’m far away from home,

Can you tell my support worker

That I’m here and I’m alone?”

So he tells her not to worry

And Brenda sits down with her bag

Then says he’ll phone the number

That is on the Safe Place card.

So he calls the number

Explains Brenda’s lost and on her own,

Can they be here very soon

To come and take her home?

Later on that evening,

Brenda tells her friends,

All about her day in town

That she will not forget.

So do you have a Safe Place scheme

In your nearest town?

You can find out more by looking

On the internet or ask around.

Then if you’re ever lost or upset

When you’re away from home,

Look out for the Safe Place sign

So you won’t be on your own.

They said it was a mate crime

page46

They said it was a mate crime

But I didn’t understand,

So they asked me about Andy

And I said he was my friend.

 

I met him at the bus stop

When I was going into town,

We chatted while we waited

For the bus to come around.

 

I said my name was Brenda

And he asked me where I lived

Then I told him all about me

Where i went and what I did.

 

Andy asked me some more questions

So I showed him all my things

He liked looking at my bank cards

And some of my key-rings.

 

I’ve met him quite a few times now

He often stops to speak

Sometimes he waits outside my house

Or says where we should meet.

 

I told Amy that he was my friend

She asked me how I knew

I said I asked him if he liked me

And he said of course I do.

 

Last week I gave him money

He asked me if I could

When he looked at me and smiled

I said of course I would.

 

Andy said this was our secret

No one would need to know

He would give this money back to me

In a week or so.

 

The next week he wanted more money

And I asked him why

He started to get angry

And he made me cry.

 

Amy said that she was worried

When I got home that day

She asked me what had happened

And at first I wouldn’t say.

 

Then I started crying

I told her about the money

She said we must tell someone

And told me not to worry.

 

Now people are all saying

Andy was not my friend

What he did was very wrong

Being friends was just pretend.

 

I’ve spoken to the police now

And now I understand

I know what mate crime is

Andy wasn’t a real friend.

 

So now you’ve heard my story

I hope this doesn’t happen to you

But if someone acts like Andy did

Tell someone, you must, please do.

 

©Karen Murray http://www.magnoliastreet.co.uk

They said it was a mate crime

But I didn’t understand,

So they asked me about Andy

And I said he was my friend.

 

I met him at the bus stop

When I was going into town,

We chatted while we waited

For the bus to come around.

 

I said my name was Brenda

And he asked me where I lived

Then I told him all about me

Where i went and what I did.

 

Andy asked me some more questions

So I showed him all my things

He liked looking at my bank cards

And some of my key-rings.

 

I’ve met him quite a few times now

He often stops to speak

Sometimes he waits outside my house

Or says where we should meet.

 

I told Amy that he was my friend

She asked me how I knew

I said I asked him if he liked me

And he said of course I do.

 

Last week I gave him money

He asked me if I could

When he looked at me and smiled

I said of course I would.

 

Andy said this was our secret

No one would need to know

He would give this money back to me

In a week or so.

 

The next week he wanted more money

And I asked him why

He started to get angry

And he made me cry.

 

Amy said that she was worried

When I got home that day

She asked me what had happened

And at first I wouldn’t say.

 

Then I started crying

I told her about the money

She said we must tell someone

And told me not to worry.

 

Now people are all saying

Andy was not my friend

What he did was very wrong

Being friends was just pretend.

 

I’ve spoken to the police now

And now I understand

I know what mate crime is

Andy wasn’t a real friend.

 

So now you’ve heard my story

I hope this doesn’t happen to you

But if someone acts like Andy did

Tell someone, you must, please do.

 

©Karen Murray http://www.magnoliastreet.co.uk

 

 

I

Brenda’s health advice

Brenda didn’t feel well

when she woke up last night,

she was feeling hot and dizzy

and she didn’t feel quite right.

 

Each time she tried to stand up

to get out of her bed,

she felt sick and wobbly

so she lay back down instead.

 

Then Brenda started shouting

and banging on the wall,

to call out to Amy

in the room next door.

 

When Amy heard her shouting

she rushed in to her room

and spoke to Brenda in her bed

to find out what was wrong.

 

Brenda said “I’m very ill,

I’m hot and I feel sick,

Amy, go and fetch the phone,

now go and do this, quick!”

 

Amy went to fetch the phone

then said “It’s dark outside,

who can i phone to help you,

in the middle of the night?”

 

Brenda said, “remember,

if you need health advice,

you can phone 111

it’s open day and night.”

 

So Amy dialled the number,

a man answered right away,

Brenda said “I’ll talk to him

and took the phone from Amy

 

The man said his name was Joe

and he was here to help,

then he said “now first of all

I need your date of birth.”

 

Joe asked Brenda for her name

and said please can you spell this?

When he asked her for her postcode

Brenda couldn’t remember it.

 

So Amy wrote the postcode down

and showed this to Brenda,

then Joe asked for her address

and for her phone number.

 

When he asked why she was calling,

Brenda said “I don’t feel right,

I’ve been feeling hot and dizzy

Since I woke up in the night.”

 

Joe asked her some more questions

but Brenda didn’t understand,

she told him not to use long words

and asked him to slow down.

 

He said, “Brenda, I am sorry

and he asked her once again,

then he listened carefully

as she started to explain.

 

Each time Joe asked a question,

he made sure she understood,

Amy stayed beside her because

Brenda asked her if she would.

 

Joe gave Brenda some advice

and Amy listened too,

when Brenda put the phone down

they both knew what to do.

 

Now Brenda feels much better,

she was ill for a few days,

her doctor gave her medication

and now she’s well again.

 

So if you are feeling ill

and you don’t know what to do,

if you need some health advice

who would you speak to?

 

When would you see your doctor?

Or phone 999?

Or go to the chemists?

Or visit A and E?

 

And when would you ring 111

just like Amy did,

for advice about your health

so you know what to do next?

 

 

©Karen Murray www.magnoliastreet.co.uk