Stockbridge in Stories

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You say Good Morning to people and they say Good Morning back, it’s that sort of community

I’ve had to fight tooth and nail for my son, for my own wellbeing

It can get a bit lonely if I don’t come and chat

Just because you’re disabled doesn’t mean you have to be isolated

Sketches by Len Grant

We’re a group of Stockbridge Village residents working on a project with Lancaster University. We’ve been asking people on our estate for their thoughts on how to make sure everyone feels a part of the community because we want to stop people who live around here feeling lonely, isolated and depressed. We know this is a big problem for some of us, so we want to do something about it. The stories you’ll read here were first shown to our community as an exhibition which started its tour at a Community Gala Day. They’re real stories of real people and groups living and working around the estate. Read on to learn what we’ve found out so far. We’re sharing our findings with the council, housing and the NHS to help them better understand our community and what it needs. If you have a story you’d like to share with us, or you’d like to join us for the next stage of our research, please get in touch. Our contact details are at the back.

Strengthening the Fabric of Stockbridge “I felt like a failure to tell you the truth. It all started when he locked himself in the garden and tried to hang himself. I couldn’t get to him. What was I supposed to do? It was horrific. “School knew there was something wrong and suggested we went to CAMHS. [The mental health service for young people]. CAMHS had a two-minute conversation with him, in front of me, and said there was nothing wrong and sent him away. School excluded him. “He’d smash the house up if I had no money to give him for his cannabis and I was afraid of what he’d do to me. I’d go to pieces. I couldn’t even stay in my own house. I thought I’d end up dead. “I went to the GP to point me in the right direction so I could understand what was going on. My own mental health was suffering. But he wouldn’t help. Because my son was over 16 he said he’d have to come and seek help himself. “Yes, I felt isolated. Isolated and let down. I didn’t know where to go or what to say.

“Then a friend of mine took me to a meeting of Healthwatch Knowsley. And from there I got appointments with psychiatrists and psychologists. That started the ball rolling with all the tests and my son finally got diagnosed with severe ADHD. That was four years ago. He’s 22 now. “There’s one ADHD specialist for the whole of Merseyside and he’s based in Warrington Hollins Park. At first I’d have to go to Warrington by bus, three buses each way to pick up medication for my lad. It’s in the middle of nowhere. Our doctors couldn’t prescribe it. Now at least they send the prescription to the local chemists.

“Before the diagnosis my son had been trying to cope with his problems with cannabis. They say it’s not addictive, but it’s really addictive. I think it’s more addictive than heroin. It causes so many problems and kids are smoking it younger and younger. It’s sending them loopy. “I’ve had to fight tooth and nail for my son, for my own wellbeing. Why won’t the health professionals listen to the parents? We live through it, 24/7. We know our kids. “He doesn’t live with me any more, I couldn’t cope. He has his own place and he gets support. I see him two or three times a week and I phone him every day.

This wife and mother is a long-term resident of Stockbridge Village. She’s involved in lots of initiatives promoting community cohesion and providing opportunities on the estate, “On this estate I see the same thing including the Disability Friday Club, The happening with other kids, other Catalyst Group, The Sewing Café and the parents. And I tell the mothers, you have to fight for the right help because intergenerational project, S.C.I.P. if you don’t then you’re going to end up like me.”

Interested in any of the groups mentioned in this booklet? From Bernie’s Angling Club to the Boccia Babes, and for all the activities at Craigs Community Centre and Gardens contact Liz Lamb, Villages’ Community Development Officer on 07738 602 422.

For Roughsedge Community Centre – breakfast clubs, quiz and movie nights, hairdresser, karaoke and much more – contact Scheme Co-ordinator Arthur Mason on 07730 321900.

Need help and advice? There are lots of people in the area who offer support if you’re feeling isolated CGL Knowsley Integrated Recovery Service 0845 873 4462 A free and confidential drug and alcohol support service for users and their families Tenant Extra Support Scheme (TESS) Villages Housing 0300 123 5522 Benefits stopped? Debt problems? Facing eviction? This free and confidential service helps to prevent homelessness Knowsley Family Information Service An online directory and good starting point for lots of local support for families Live Well Directory An online directory of local care support services for Knowsley and the whole Liverpool City Region

Knowsley Carers Centre 143, Bewley Road, Knowsley, L32 9PE 0151 549 1412 A whole load of services to support unpaid carers in Knowsley Samaritans 116 123 In a crisis? Samaritans are available around the clock for whatever you’re going through Citizens Advice 27 Cavendish Walk Huyton L36 9YG National phone service: 03444 111 444 A range of advice on loads of issues For mental health issues start with your GP who, for young people, can make a referral to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). In emergencies always call 999.

Our project is funded by The National Institute for Health Research Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care North West Coast (NIHR CLAHRC NWC). The views expressed here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health and Social Care.

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