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



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;


©Karen Murray 2017












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;

Amy is home alone


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








What’s wrong, Gary?


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?