In response to the ‘charity’ worker who knocked on my door

The other night someone knocked on my door, he claimed to be from Barnardos but looking at his ID (And I did look at his ID) it transpired that he was actually from a company employed by Barnardos to do this work.

I don’t disagree with charities trying to raise funds but I do have a problem with the way that they approach it.

When I answered the door he didn’t start with

‘Hi my name is ….  I would like to talk to you about Barnardos and the great work that they do and how they support people in your area’

Which I feel would be the right way to start this conversation, no he opened with

‘Do you have children?’ ‘Do you care about your children?’ and then ‘Would you do anything to protect your children?’

I find this line of questioning insulting, everyone cares for their children. I won’t be made to feel like a bad parent because I am not willing to give money to a charity. I give money to NAS and some small local charities, tbh I am all charity’d  up, I don’t have anything else I am willing to give.

I will not give money to or set up any form of direct debit with anyone who knocks on my door regardless of who they are or what a great service they do for people, but with the right approach I may be willing to listen.

I know for a fact that Barnardos do some great work, but I also know that the majority of that work is actually funded by local authorities. Barnardos is a massive multi-million pound organsation and not a small charity like they would like you to believe.

For instance.

There was a support worker from Barnardos at my sons pre-school but she was a paid employee, Barnardos had a contract with the local auth to provide that valuable service.

When my son had a CAF done at preschool, Barnardos provided someone to take the notes and support the process, this person was also a paid employee, also paid for by a contract with the local authority.

The sibling support service and the short breaks service are both also paid services that are paid for by a contract with the local authority. Again these are invaluable.

A child who is placed with Barnardos foster carers hasn’t been placed with volunteers, those carers are paid employees, Barnardos invoices the local authority for this care.

Now I have singled out Barnardos because that was who knocked on the door, but they are not the only ones that do this, I have had Action for Children do the same thing in the past, they also have contracts with local authorities, and don’t get me started on the religious people who try and sell you their religion on the doorstep.

I am not belittling anything that these organisations do, all of the support and services that they provide are invaluable, but I do feel that they need to have a little word with the people that are knocking on doors. There is a right way and a wrong way to approach people and trying to guilt people into giving money is not the right way.





Just finished reading… The Hope that Kills by ED James


This book is not the style of book that I normally read it is a murder mystery/police story where the main character DI Fenchurch is investigating the murder of 2 girls and the suspicious death of the main suspect, it is set in London.

The case ends up being much more complex than it first appears with more than one police force being involved and the relationship between the forces not always been on the best of terms.

There are lots of twists to the story with bent coppers, strip clubs and human trafficking all playing their own part in the story.  If you like stories with action then there is lots of that to keep you interested. I felt that it had enough detail about the characters for me to be able to relate to them, without it becoming a story about them, rather than the case that they are working on.

Once I got roughly half way through the book the story really started to pick up the pace with more detail about DI Fenchurch’s past coming out. This made the details of the case more personal to him and his family, and adding to the complexity of the story.

I sometimes find that this kind of story can be quite predictable but this had enough red herrings in it to keep me guessing right up to the end.  Some of the details at the end I would never have been able to guess, I’m not really sure where the idea for this came from but some one somewhere, possibly has issues!

I found this to be quite an easy read, with lots going on throughout.  I found it really easy to visualise the story as I was reading it,  I always think that this is a sign of a well written book. Once I got into the story, which didn’t take long, it was hard to put it down, it started to feel like it was calling me to come back to it and finish it.

Its not often that I read a book and I am gutted that it has finished but I was really enjoying this and I was a little sad when I finished it.

There are another 2 books in the series but I won’t be reading the next one of these next, I like to vary what I read so the next one I am planning on reading is Wizard and Glass by Stephen King.



Nativity Play Costume


K is a cow in the school Nativity, tonight he tried his costume on, which needs to be in school tomorrow, up until tonight he had refused to put it on, but once it was on he embraced the role and even let me video him while he said ‘moo’

Not sure how he will be on the day when he has to wear it for the play, but at least I know it fits.

Saturday Softplay

Duncans Toy Chest

Saturday Softplay is something that we do quite regularly, this week we went to the local leisure centre for a session that is ran by a small local club for disabled children.


As usual he went straight for the smaller, quieter bouncy castle and started bouncing away quite happily, leaving me to have a hot cup of tea, which  I have to admit that was quite nice.

Then he decided that he would get inside one of the pieces of softplay. He loves small spaces so often when he gets into a space like this he wants to stay there.


But this is when the trouble started, other children also like this particular piece of softplay, and as he can’t talk he can’t tell them to leave him alone and he is vulnerable to being pushed around.

Some girls came up and tried sitting on the edge and gradually pushing him out of it, K stood his ground and stayed inside the hole in the middle, they soon lost interest and went away.

Then a boy came over who was much bigger than K and pushed the piece with K still inside, and flipped it over to tip him out. When K followed him as he wanted to get back inside, the boy pushed him away using pieces of play equipment to push him back, banging him on the head with it and knocking him over.

I can only assume that this other child’s parents were paying no attention.  I know that if it was my child doing this I would have intervened, there is a big difference between rough and tumble and picking on a child that is smaller than you are.

So I got up and told him that he should not be pushing around children that are much smaller than he is, that I would be watching and that I would be speaking to his Mum if he carried on with what he was doing..

The boy apologised and moved away letting K continue to play as he was before he had been disturbed. The boys parents never came over to see what had happened so I assume they still weren’t paying any attention. The workers from the leisure centre did apologise for not intervening sooner.

This is exactly why I have insisted that K has fulltime 1:1 at school and that this 1:1 supervision includes playtimes and lunchtimes as I feel that it is these free play times when the children are not being fully supervised that he is the most vulnerable to bullying and this kind of behaviour.

Don’t say you’re sorry

When I tell you that my son has additional needs or autism, don’t say you’re sorry

There is nothing to be sorry about, I’m not sorry!

He is a lovely, happy, healthy little boy

Yes he is different

Yes he has his struggles

But more than anything… he is amazing and he amazes us every day.

He has taught us so much about how to be parents and what being a good parent is.

He has taught us just how much we can love someone and just what unconditional love is.

He has taught us tolerance and patience.

And for that we are grateful

So remember…

Just because he doesn’t do what a ‘normal’ child does, doesn’t mean that you need to be sorry, there is nothing to be sorry about.




Currently Reading… The Hope that Kills by @EdJamesAuthor

I am currently reading the Hope that Kills, which is a DI Fenchurch book by ED James. This is the first ED James book that I have read and I downloaded it onto my kindle as part of  Kindle First.

The story centres around DI Fenchurch and his team who are investigating the murder of 2 girls and the death of the main suspect in the case.

The main character is DI Fenchurch and he has his own back story which is slowly becoming more and more important to the story, as this effects the way that he deals with his colleagues and some of the key witnesses.

The relationships between the different teams and how they work together is also very interesting. Especially how the fact the the first murder took part on the boarder between two conflicting police area’s impacts on how they can work the case, this gives the story more depth than it would possibly have without it.

I am half way through the book and although at first it didn’t grab me as it isn’t the sort of book that I would normally read, it has now got me completely and I am struggling to put it down, there are so many twists and turns in the story that I am really enjoying the way that it is unraveling.

And the good news for me is that it is part of a three book series.

I am really looking forward to getting K to bed tonight so that I can continue reading it.


I love this…


Every year my sons school do this, they have a non uniform day on the 1st of December and the whole school help to decorate the Christmas tree in the school hall.

As you can imagine the tree ends up looking interesting, with lots at the bottom where the kids can reach but not so much at the top, but the head never changes it, they leave it how the kids have decorated it, and the kids are always very proud of it.

Although  on the letter it is just a generic non uniform day, all of the kids go in the Christmas jumpers and Santa hats and have a really fun day.

This is the one time that my son who normally struggles with non uniform happily joins in. Even he gets excited about it and he doesn’t get excited about much.

He has a new Christmas top in his wardrobe ready (Lego themed this year) and I have a donation for the school fair ready for him to take to on the day.

So roll on the 1st of December, we are ready!