“When I left Care They Said I was A Great Survivor”. An amendment to Guardian Article

It’s national care leavers week and the article on the guardian’s website deliberately tells my leaving care story without trying to couch it in statistics or theory as to how it could have been done better.    But I made a  mistake in the article. I refered to my first address (after leaving care)  as  21 Chaucer Avenue. It was actually  21 Cowper Avenue.

Most of the young people inside wood end  assessment centre were on remand (children waiting for court appearances) for crimes that ranged from murder to burglary. I made history by returning to the assessment centre (after running away) precisely because I wasn’t on remand.  I was in care  and by running away to the housing office to convince them to hurry with my case and then returning to Wood End  I was helping the institution to work me through it’s darkest crevices.


14 thoughts on ““When I left Care They Said I was A Great Survivor”. An amendment to Guardian Article

  1. Woodend’s Postal Address was Everest Road , Atherton , Greater Manchester , M46 9NT …I’ll have to correct you …it’s now a private psychiatric hospital called The Spinney not The Jenny , ran by Partnerships in Care .

  2. I was there around 73/74 I was put into care for Truancy. I spent a year there, I ran away twice on home leave I hated the
    regime, move around in size order, doors locked behide you all the time also timed when you went the toilet, I think you had more freedom in prison I was only 12. Education was next to none, basket weaving in the evening I thought to myself this is gonna come in handy. The Teachers where more like a prison officer then carers, bullying was rift by the older kids, I cant recall children being on remand when I was there It was more like allocation center move on to another home when they could be bother finding you one I ended up 115 miles from home

    • I was there about 1983 1984. It makes me angry when I read your email. We have to live with these memories our entire freaking lives. You were 12. This is why I wrote this blog. I wrote it as a point of record. If only all young people who were dragged through Wood End were made aware that they have the opportunity of redress. We were made to feel so worthless that the idea that they were wrong and we were right was removed from our thoughts by the fact they made us all feel so freaking bad about ourselves!

      • So true thank you for bringing this to the attention of the people. I was there 89-90’s for truancy such a horrible place and memories.

  3. I was in Woodend in 73 I was 12 at the time, I spent 6 months there in minors there was also intermediates and seniors, the staff were bad and I always remember one lad called “Rabbit” (nickname) Being punched in the throat and and he couldn’t breathe or move and he was dragged out the room by his hair, just for answering back. It was not a good centre to be in, I was moved from here to Mobberley boys Approve school where I spent another 2 years, I remember having to cut the playing field grass with a pair of scissors, for fighting. It didn’t change me and I found myself back in Redbank and then the Fylde farn boys approve school until I was 18 oh and I loved it I was institutionalised by the time I left and they had to kick me out, I got used to scrubbing floors, buffering and cats milk. I am abetter person for all my time in care it taught me manners and how to treat other people, I am glad I went there even though at times it was hard and anyone reading this will know how hard.

  4. Hello, I was in there over Christmas at the end of 76 for about 2 months ish, first 10 mins I was stripped naked by two men taken to a bathroom and washed hard by them touching and feeling me everywhere, given some clothes then marched into a classroom and left in front of this Irish ginger twat who said I,m a bastard and don,t forget it to which the class of about 12 started to laugh, me thinking he was joking laughed also, wish I never, the bastards punched and kicked the shit out of me hard and dragged me around the class by my hair eventually leaving me in a pile on the floor crying.If I ever met him again I would kill him. Yes we were locked up with a dim light on at night and the cocky ( night watchman ) had to let you out for a piss. I once got seconds of dinner and after to much left some, that was wrong, this bastard made me eat it till I was sick and when I threw up he made me eat that to. Just a little taste of Woodend for you to read, was aged 12.

  5. I was in mobberley in the very early 80s.

    Nasty horrible place, i was only 12…

    I have horrible memories, especially about Mr Link.

  6. I was in Wood End around 72 – 73 then sent to Red Bank then onto Mobberley in Shaftsbury House.

    I remember Mr Kennedy a Scotch bloke in Woodend, he used to whestle you on a matt in the gym and couldn’t get me off the matt and it used to really annoy him.

    I remember being taken to Red Bank by one of the staff in a Volvo Estate, Mary Bell was in Red Bank at the time I was there.

    Don’t know if anyone will remember me

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