When Gary met the Dentist


Gary is in a lot of pain,

because his teeth are hurting,

he was awake most of last night

and stayed in bed this morning.

So Gary didn’t go out

until later in the day

and when he meets up with his friends

they see he is in pain. 

Jack tells him he is worried,

Brenda asked him what was wrong.

Gary said his teeth are hurting

and they ask him “for how long?”

 Gary tells his friends that

it started yesterday,

they listen and then tell him

to see the dentist right away.

 Gary doesn’t want to go

he hasn’t been for years,

going to the dentist

is something that he fears.

 But Jack and Amy tell him

this is something he must do

and they say if you are worried

we’ll come along with you.

 So Gary makes the phone call

and when he says his name,

the receptionist is very kind,

she listens as he explains.

 He says his teeth are hurting,

this started late last night

and when he says that he feels scared

she said she understands.

 She tells Gary, “please don’t worry,

the nurse will stay with you,

she’ll explain all that will happen

and what the dentist will do.”

 Gary was told to come along

to the dentists right away,

his friends say they’ll come with him

and that they will stay.

 So they walk there quickly

and when they reach the door,

the nurse comes out to see them

and takes Gary on a tour.

 She shows him all around the rooms

and he sits on the chair

he tries the special glasses on

while he is sitting there.

 Then the nurse sits down with Gary

tells him what will happen next,

his friends wave goodbye to him

as he goes in with the dentist.

 Gary sits down on the chair

and the dentist speaks to him,

he looks in to Gary’s mouth

to find out what is wrong.

 It is later on that evening,

when his supporter worker comes round,

Gary tells him where he’s been

and he feels really proud!

 He said he’d had two fillings

but must go back once again,

Gary isn’t nervous now,

as he knows just what will happen.

 So when did you last visit

the dentist, or like Gary

has it been too many years

because you are so worried?

 But if you explain just how you feel

they will help you through,

the nurses and the dentist

will make it right for you!



©Karen Murray www.magnoliastreet.co.uk

Good Friends


Amy first met Brenda when they were at school,

they sat near each other in class and lunchtimes too.

Brenda was often bossy but Amy didn’t care

because Brenda helped her, she was always there.

Amy was the quiet one, she didn’t like the noise

of car alarms and sirens, people whistling, children’s toys,

mobiles ringing, people shouting, fire alarms and bells,

party poppers, ice cream vans, washing machines as well.

So Brenda made sure Amy was safe when she felt scared

and she knew just what to do, she was ready and prepared.

Brenda knew the noises Amy didn’t like at all

and knew Amy felt better, when she put her hand against a wall.

Now they are much older, lots of things have changed,

they share a house together and are still good friends.

Although Brenda often argues and she can be quite loud,

Amy is just happy that Brenda is still around.

Amy always listens to the things that Brenda says,

she knows when Brenda’s angry and she knows when she is sad.

She knows when Brenda is unhappy or if she needs a hug

And Brenda knows when Amy needs a wall to touch.

Good friends are so important, they’re friends because they care,

They choose to be with you, to listen, help and share.

So, have you got a good friend, someone you like a lot?

What could you do to let them know that you like them very much?

The Secret


 Brenda has a secret

she’s keeping to herself

when he asked her for a photo,

she promised not to tell.

Brenda got a phone for Christmas,

her parents showed her how

to send messages and texts

and photographs as well.

They warned her of the dangers

but as she sat there in her chair

Brenda didn’t listen

when they warned her to take care.

So Brenda took her phone and left

she said she didn’t need their help

to get an account on Facebook,

she would do this by herself.

At first this wasn’t easy,

Brenda struggled with the words

but finally she did it and

she felt really proud!

Brenda soon got messages

and later on that day

someone sent a friend request

she accepted straight away.

She didn’t know this person

but he said his name was Carl,

when Brenda saw his photo

she thought he looked really cool.

When Carl asked to be her friend

Brenda really did believe

that he was being friendly

and that’s why she agreed.

Then Carl told her that he liked her

but he wanted more

so she sent another photo

one better than before.

Carl was quick to answer

and he messaged Wow!

you are really awesome,

I like you much more now.

 He sent Brenda messages

every day that week,

each time he said he liked her

Brenda asked when they could meet.

Carl said, I live too far away

and I really want to see you

but there is something Brenda,

one thing you can do.

If you really like me,

take off all your clothes,

then send me your photo

but no one else must know.

This will be our secret,

we’ll keep it to ourselves,

we won’t tell our friends and family

so now take off your clothes.

Brenda didn’t want to do it,

she thought she had no choice

but she really liked him

he was not like other boys.

So Brenda took her top off

and undid her bra,

she quickly took a photo

then sent this off to Carl.

Now what do you think happened next?

Is Carl really her friend?

Do you think he likes her?

Or is this just pretend?

And what about that photo

Brenda sent to him,

Do you think he kept this secret?

Or did he show his friends?


The Meeting

Gary and jack_edited-1

Jack went to a meeting

Just the other day

He went there with Gary and

They planned what they would say.

 They agreed it was important

To speak to the people there

But when it was their turn to speak

Gary stayed in his chair.

 He felt scared and nervous

As he looked around the room,

Everyone looked at them

When he didn’t move.

 So Jack spoke to Gary,

He said “I’m nervous too,

But remember what we practised

And what we said we’d do.

 We’ll go up there together

And when we’re on the stage,

Put your hand against my shoulder

Each time you feel afraid.”

 Gary couldn’t look at Jack,

He wished he was at home

Until Jack whispered to him

“I’ll go up on my own.”

 Jack started to move slowly,

He didn’t want to rush

But suddenly he stopped, when

His wheelchair got stuck.

 Gary saw what happened

Across the crowded room

So he went to help Jack

He knew what he should do.

 Jack looked up at Gary

As he helped him with his chair.

They went on the stage together

By the ramp beside the stairs.

 Gary stood there with him

And when Jack began to speak

His hand was on Jack’s shoulder

Like they practised all last week.

 When Jack had finished speaking

Gary looked down at the floor,

He knew it was his turn to say

What he had come here for.

So Gary spoke up clearly

And he said the words out loud,

When everybody clapped and cheered

He felt really proud.

 Now when he is asked to speak,

Gary thinks about that day

He knows that he is able

To stand up and have his say.









The Letter

page49Page8  Page8


Brenda picks the letter up

as she walks past the door,

she very quickly reads it

then throws it on the floor.


Amy is in her bedroom

so she is not aware,

she doesn’t know about the letter

Brenda threw behind the chair.


It is later on that day

when Brenda is in town,

she walks into the café

and just as she sits down,


She sees Gary in the corner

sitting with a mug of tea,

Brenda doesn’t speak to him,

she sits there quietly.


Gary doesn’t see her

until he gets up from his chair

so when he looks around the room

he’s surprised to see her there.


He walks across to Brenda

asks if Amy got the letter,

Gary put it through the door today

now he’s waiting for an answer.


Brenda doesn’t want to speak to him,

she turns her head away,

Gary asks her once again,

then Brenda turns to him to say


Amy doesn’t like you much,

so don’t write again to Amy,

she doesn’t want to talk to you

your letter made her angry!


Gary stands there shaking

when he hears these  words,

he feels confused and panics

and he runs out of the door.


He finds a place to sit down

in the park on the way home,

Gary sits and worries

he wants to be alone.


He’s upset as he remembers

the words that Brenda said,

he wonders why Amy was angry

with the letter that he sent.


Gary thinks about the letter

he has the words saved in his head,

all last night he thought of her

when he was in his bed.


The letter said, dear Amy

I like you very much,

will you please come out with me?

I will buy you lunch.


If you will be my valentine,

I will be so happy

and at the very end he wrote,

with lots of love from Gary.


When Brenda got back home that day,

Amy was waiting there

she had found the letter

that Brenda threw behind the chair.


Amy says, I’m going out

tomorrow to have lunch

I have just phoned Gary,

he likes me very much!


Brenda doesn’t want to talk

she runs up to her room

to write a long letter to Gary

and one to Amy too.


So why do you think Brenda

said those things to Gary

and what was in the letter

She wrote to him and Amy?






Stranger at the door



At first Amy was afraid

She was terrified

When the man knocked on her door

And asked her to come outside.

Amy couldn’t answer him

She couldn’t say a word

So the man spoke even louder

He thought Amy hadn’t heard.

The man stepped back and

Then, he pointed to the roof

Told Amy it needed mending

And here was the proof.

He said now if you look up

At your roof you’ll see,

There are some roof tiles missing

I can mend these easily.

But you will be in trouble

If you don’t mend these now,

The next time that it rains

Your roof could fall right through!

Amy was really worried

She didn’t know what she should do

Her house mate Brenda was away

There was no one to speak to.

The man said, I can do this,

It won’t cost you much,

I will need one hundred pounds

And I’ll mend it before lunch.

Amy thought about the money

Brenda kept inside the jar

She had saved this money up

But Brenda wasn’t there.

So Amy went inside her house

Looked in the kitchen cupboard

She found the jar there on the shelf

And counted out the money.

The man smiled when he saw Amy

Who handed him the money

Said he would mend the roof now

There was no need to worry.

Amy went back inside her house

She looked out and saw the man

Go across the road and then

Drive off in his van.

She was sure he would be back

To do the work he promised

But he was never seen again

This made Amy very worried.

Amy was in a panic

When Brenda came back home

She didn’t want to tell her

That her money was all gone.

It was later on that night

When Brenda went in to the cupboard

Amy heard her screaming

And knew what she’d discovered.

Brenda turned to Amy

And asked her about the money

When Amy told her about the man

Brenda said this is not funny.

They phoned the police together

Amy told them what had happened

Amy described the man she saw

And that he drove off in his van.

Brenda was really angry

That Amy had lost her money

Even though they are good friends

She was upset with Amy.

So never give your money

To someone if you’re not sure

When you don’t know the person

Just make sure you close your door.





















What is wrong with Amy?


The Doctor said to Amy

How are you today?

As Amy sat down on the chair

The Doctor looked away,

He stared at his computer,

Then turned to look at her

When Amy took her coat off

And put it on the floor

He spoke again to Amy

And asked why she was here

Then he said some other things

That weren’t very clear

So Amy said, when it was raining

On Saturday, I think,

I slipped and fell against a wall

When I was walking down the street

The doctor smiled at Amy

As she started to explain

That she hurt all over

She was in a lot of pain

Then he asked her some more questions

And used lots of big words

He spoke so quickly that she

Couldn’t hear them all

The doctor got up from his chair

He said, much more slowly

I need to see where the pain is

So, please can you show me?

Amy pointed to her shoulder

But she cried out in pain

Each time he tried to touch it

So he sat down again

The doctor gave her a prescription

He said this is for you

Then he said some other things

But Amy was confused

As Amy walked out of the door

She turned back and smiled

But the doctor wasn’t looking

He was searching through his files

When Amy got back home that day

She told her best friend Brenda

About what had happened

When she went to see the doctor

Brenda asked her what he said

When he looked at Amy’s shoulder

And what was wrong with her arm

She hurt, when she fell over

Amy said she didn’t know

But he gave her a prescription

She was going to the chemists now

To get her medication


It was a few days later

After she visited the doctor,

Amy went there once again

With Jackie, her support worker

When they went back together

He listened when they explained

That Amy also hurt her arm

When she fell over in the rain

And Jackie told the doctor

Explained Amy hadn’t understood

Some of the words he said to her

Then asked him if he would

Check Amy’s arm and shoulder

And look at her back too

She was in a lot of pain

There must be more that he can do

So after he examined her

And she went for an X-ray

Amy was told her arm was broken

This was why she was in pain

Amy has told her friends now

That she has a plan,

Next time she’s at the doctors

And she doesn’t understand

She will say, please doctor

When you speak to me,

You need to speak much slower

Say everything clearly

So what do you think doctors

Nurses and others should do,

To make sure you understand them

And they understand you too?


Jack’s Internet Safety Tips


When Jack has trouble sleeping

He gets out of bed

And he sits at his computer

To play games instead,

One night as he was playing

And his parents were asleep

A message came up on the screen

Which Jack started to read,

 It said, this is a warning

Your computer is at risk,

You must phone this number now

To get your computer fixed.

  Now Jack was in a panic,

He wasn’t sure if he should phone

But he knew, it was his fault

The computer was now broken,

So Jack picked up his mobile

And he dialled the number,

The man was very helpful

This made Jack feel better

 The man said that he’d help Jack

He told him what to do,

He asked Jack for his password

His name and address too,

 Then the man said, just a minute

I will log onto your screen

But first I need your bank details

So please give these to me

 Well, Jack was feeling nervous

But the man said, you must hurry

So Jack gave him his bank details

Even though this made him worry.

  As Jack moved around his bedroom

He made a lot of noise,

Suddenly his door opened

And Jack got a surprise

 His dad stood in the doorway

And asked Jack what was wrong,

He looked at the computer

Then said, what’s going on?

 Jack told his father everything

He said what he had done

His dad sat down and told him

He thought this was a scam,

 His computer was not broken

The message he had seen

Was put there to make Jack

Phone the number on the screen,

 He said, some people out there

Just want you to believe

That they are there to help you

When all they want to do is steal 

 Now Jack’s bank account is empty

The money has all gone

They told the bank and the police

Everything the man had done.

 So now Jack is more careful

He always tells his friends

If you are asked for your details

Don’t trust everyone

 And if you use the internet

Always stop and think

About what could happen

If you click on to a link

 Or if you get a phone call

From someone you don’t know

If they ask for your bank details

Make sure you tell them NO!


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


When Gary was a young boy

To start off #hatecrimeawareness week, I am sharing two of my poems to highlight the need for a better understanding of hate crime and mate crime.  We all know there is a huge underreporting of all kinds of hate crime but especially disability hate crime.



When Gary was a young boy

The kids were very cruel

They bullied and they teased him

When he came home from school


Gary wanted to be friends

But when they heard him speak

They saw that he was different

They saw that he was weak


So they started to make fun of him

They called him nasty names

But Gary didn’t understand

He thought it just a game


One day they pushed and punched him

They kicked him down the lane

And then they started laughing

When Gary screamed in pain


His mum ran out in to the street

When she saw he wasn’t there

Then she found him in the lane

Mud sticking to his hair


It was later on that day, when

His dad went to complain

To talk to the police and say

What the boys did in the lane


The police spoke to his dad and said

“We’ll find these boys and warn them

What will happen to them next

If they hurt Gary again”


When his dad got home that night

They all sat down with Gary

And agreed what they should do

To make sure he was safe and happy

So, when Gary walked along the street

He didn’t stop to play

Sometimes the boys called out to him

But he turned and walked away


Sometimes the boys chased after him

And tried to push him over

But Gary knew what he should do

He ran home to his mother


Now Gary is much older

So many things have changed

Lots of people helped him

To take away the pain


And Gary is more confident

His speech is loud and clear

But he remembers what those bullies did

He remembers them with fear


So when he talks about them now

He tells everyone he can

If you are being bullied

You must have a plan

Think of people you can tell

Of bad things that have happened

Make sure you tell them everything

And check that they have listened


So don’t let people do or say

Things that will cause you pain

Tell someone who will make it stop

And make sure that you are safe


©Karen Murray 2015 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


Brenda says – If you think that you have been a victim of a crime, don’t be afraid to report it to the police. Here are some ways you can report a crime;

  • Phone 101 and speak to your local police
  • Phone Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org
  • Phone Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625 or visit their website www.stophateuk.org
  • Visit your local police station
  • Tell someone you trust what has happened




Keep it to yourself – Part six

Page8Amy stands in front of her window at 81 Magnolia Street and thinks about her best friend Brenda. It’s starting to get dark and Amy is worried. Where is she? It will soon be time to cook their evening meal and she needs Brenda to help her. Brenda didn’t say where she was going when she went out this morning and Amy won’t feel happy until Brenda is home.

Looking at the clock on the wall, Amy thinks about phoning their support worker Jackie. Then Amy remembers the last time she phoned Jackie to tell her that Brenda hadn’t come home. Brenda was so angry with Amy that she wouldn’t talk to her for two days. Amy decides she won’t phone Jackie just yet and hopes that Brenda comes home soon.

With her face pressed close against the window, Amy watches as the cars and people go up and down Magnolia Street. She stands there for a while and is about to go upstairs when Amy thinks she sees Brenda on the other side of the street. As the person gets nearer, Amy is sure that this person is Brenda.

Amy quickly pulls the curtains shut and sits down on her favourite chair. When she hears the front door open, Amy watches as Brenda slams the door shut and then throws her bag on the floor.

“Where have you been Brenda?” Amy asks her quietly, “are you alright, I was worried about you?”

Brenda rubs her eyes and when she looks at her face, Amy can see that Brenda has been crying. She watches in silence as Brenda starts to cry, but when Amy tries to talk to her, Brenda turns away from her and runs up to her room.

Amy doesn’t see Brenda again that night but she hears her crying in her room. With her hands pressed against her bedroom wall, Amy lies there and worries. Why is Brenda so upset? Why won’t Brenda talk to her and tell her what is wrong?page46

The next morning when she walks into the kitchen, Amy is surprised to see Brenda is dressed and ready to go out.

“Where are you going Brenda?” Amy asks her as Brenda closes the kitchen cupboard.

“It’s none of your business,” Brenda shouts, “leave me alone.”

“I heard you crying last night, I’m worried about you,” Amy says quietly.

Brenda starts to walk out of the kitchen but then suddenly she starts to cry. Amy rushes over to her and puts her arms around Brenda. When Amy asks her again what’s wrong, Brenda still doesn’t answer.

Amy holds Brenda’s hand tightly and they sit down together. Slowly, Brenda starts to tell Amy all about Andy and the money she gave him. She tells Amy she has to go to the park again today to see if Andy is there. When Amy asks Brenda why, she tells Amy that Andy took her purse and she waited all day yesterday for him to come back with it.

Amy is very upset and angry that Andy did this to her best friend. She never liked Andy but she doesn’t tell Brenda this. They talk for a long time about the money and about Andy and then Amy tells Brenda they must speak to someone. When Amy says they should phone her mum to tell her what happened, Brenda says no. She doesn’t want to upset her so Amy says they should phone Jackie instead. Brenda is not sure.

“I don’t want Andy to get into trouble but I want him to give me my purse back and I don’t want him to be angry with me,” Brenda tells her.

“Jackie will help you. She told us to tell her if something is wrong,” Amy says quietly.

page52Finally, Brenda agrees to phone Jackie and it isn’t long before she rings the doorbell at 81 Magnolia Street.  At first Brenda is worried but as they sit down together and Amy makes them both a mug of tea, Brenda starts to feel better.   Jackie tells Brenda that she was really glad that she phoned her and then she asks Brenda to tell her all about Andy.

“I met him at the bus stop and I really liked him. When we got on the bus I showed him my keyrings and my bank cards,” Brenda tells her.

When she tells Jackie about the money she gave him, Jackie says they need to speak to the police. Brenda starts to cry.

“You’re not in trouble Brenda,” Jackie explains, “but you need to tell the police because Andy has done something that is very wrong and they need to find him.”

Amy sits holding Brenda’s hand tightly while Jackie phones the police. Brenda has stopped crying now but she is still very upset.

It is later that day when a police woman comes to Brenda’s house in Magnolia Street. The police woman asks Brenda lots of questions about Andy and the money she gave him. She asks Brenda where she met him and looks at Brenda’s bank statements. When they have finished talking, the police woman tells Brenda that she is very brave and she did the right thing reporting Andy to the police.

When the police woman tells Brenda she will need to go to the police station to write a statement, Brenda asks, “what’s a statement?”

The police woman puts down her note pad and looks at Brenda. “A statement is your chance to say what happened to you, Brenda. A police officer like me will ask you questions and write down what you have said. They will ask you to read it and sign it with your name. When you sign the statement you are saying that you agree the statement is true and is exactly what happened. Your statement may be used as evidence in court.

A few weeks after the police woman came to their house, Brenda is still feeling sad. Brenda hasn’t got her purse or her money back but the police told her they have spoken to Andy.   Now she knows that Andy wasn’t really her friend. He was just pretending to be her friend so that he could take her money. The police told her that Andy had taken money from lots of other people so they were really pleased that Brenda had reported him to the police.

When Brenda told her friends Gary and Jack about Andy, they told her that what Andy did, is called a mate crime. Brenda had not heard about mate crime before so they told her more about it. They explained that mate crime is when someone pretends to be your friend so they can take things from you or do things to hurt you.

Brenda is very careful now when she talks to people she doesn’t know and she never gives money to people in the street or shows anyone her bank cards or PIN number. When she thinks about what Andy did, she still feels upset and is angry with herself for giving him the money. Amy is happy that Brenda told her what Andy did and that she is still her friend.

Brenda says “Never show anyone your bank cards, or PIN number and don’t give your money to people you don’t know. If something like this happens to you, don’t be afraid to report it to the police. ”

Brenda asks you these questions;

page49Why do you think I didn’t tell Amy what was wrong?

What did the police woman say to me?

What is a statement?

What is mate crime?

What do you think will happen next?


Brenda says – If you think that you have been a victim of a crime, don’t be afraid to report it to the police. Here are some ways you can report a crime;

  • Phone 101 and speak to your local police
  • Phone Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit their website www.crimestoppers-uk.org
  • Phone Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625 or visit their website www.stophateuk.org
  • Visit your local police station
  • Tell someone you trust what has happened