Our reaching out to survivors and care leavers from Islington, via social media and this website, is helping more survivors to come forward. This is what we are doing:
When a survivor first sends their form to us, or contacts us, we agree with them to telephone them and then to meet up – if that is what they want. When we meet we take a brief account of what they experienced as a child in Islington’s care – perhaps in foster homes, children’s homes or even secure units and boarding schools. If they want us to help them obtain their files then we help them to do this and we have worked hard with the council to make this process much improved. The council have been very responsive to our suggestions in making our visit to the council to collect the files a more sensitive experience.
Then we discuss what the survivor wants to do and talk things over.
We are having regular meetings now at LinkUp Café on Hornsey Road where we invite people who have been in contact with us and who we have met. This way people know who will be there and feel comfortable about it. The detail of what happened to each person is not discussed at these meetings but there is lots of discussion goes on and people get to know each other. This has helped ISN to be in contact with others via Facebook networks and through some of the friendships which have continued between people since they were in care. Basically the word is getting round fast!
Lots of people coming forward have need of support. We are in discussion with the council in getting counselling set up and also practical help where needed. This is taking time but please believe we are doing as much as we can on this to move things on.
We could do with some help with our wordpress website – if you have skills which can help please contact us. The person who so kindly set the website up for us is not around now, so although we can manage some of it we are a bit stuck in some respects.
If you know somewhere in Islington where you can put up our flyers on noticeboards or in libraries or anywhere you think is important – please let us know and we will get some to you.
We hope that any staff who worked in Islington, and wish to help us, will come forward. We have asked Islington to provide an amnesty for staff to make sure there are no recriminations if someone still works for the council and wants to help us.