man smelling a rose

 What’s in a Name: Does Diagnosis Matter?

I wonder if you recognise these words, “Tis but thy name that is my enemy?” Probably not. How about this line, “…That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?”

Of course, now we’re getting warmer! That is Shakespeare’s Juliet speaking about her beloved Romeo. She has been brought up to believe that anyone with the name Montague is bad but she is questioning this and making up her own mind about the man. She concludes that whatever his name, he would still be the same person she loves. Do You Care? Read on

Why Can’t the Police Keep Working With us to Support the Runaways?

The Police recently announced a change in approach when children are reported missing especially, where children are in care.  An article published by the Guardian says:

…A radical new approach was being unveiled to target investigations on those at risk instead of responding to every call-out. Do You Care? Read on

crowded public transport

Disability and Travel: The Tourist

This is my second item inspired by traveling to Tenerife. Right now I am lying in the sun, in my ridiculous shorts pretending I am warm. It’s early but so far, it isn’t even hot enough for a cool beer! I am still in the recovery phase of traveling, the day after a 3.00 a.m. alarm, getting lost finding the airport parking, a four hour flight with my knees tucked under my ears, an hour or so transfer (almost the last hotel drop) and a walk to the beach to squeeze something in on the first day! All that has got me thinking about disability and travel and especially, what a challenge that must be. Do You Care? Read on

pen paper and handwriting

You Could Write for the Neighbourgood

I have written quite a few short articles now and have been very conscious of the fact that I am discussing things that are not my lived experience. The Neighbourgood is intended as a resource for people with disabilities and other things, that might lead to difficulties in life. Whilst I have experienced a few problems myself, I am not disabled nor am I a carer. I am a social worker which I hope gives me a bit of credibility but I know I write from a particular perspective and that means I might occasionally get it wrong. Where I do, I would appreciate someone to be able offer another perspective or, put me right!

Do You Care? Read on

Smiling woman

In Loving Memory

On Friday 22nd February 2013, my mother, Joan died. I agreed to speak at her funeral and represented my brother and two sisters in doing so. As I wrote down what I wanted to say, it came to me that much of what I could speak about would make for good content for the Neighbourgood web site with its emphasis on social care. The more I thought and wrote, the more obvious it seemed that Joan incorporated principles of community care in her every day living and seemed like a natural inhabitant of the Neighbourgood. So that’s what I’m doing here writing about her and drawing inspiration from her.

Do You Care? Read on

Shorts on a washing line

The Tourist

I am writing this in Tenerife. That sounds pretty grand but really, it is not. We got a cheap week away in the sun which so far, has not really put in much of an appearance, but it is only day two and I remain hopeful!

What I am struck with is that here, I am a foreigner and I am wondering how much this is like the experience of people who have a disability? Not only am I evidently, a visitor with my pale skin and ridiculous shorts, I am also a tourist and the unwilling participant in all of the associated stereotypes. It seems that no matter what I do, I can’t shake that sense of not belonging. Do You Care? Read on

Woman with cigarette

Loneliness Bad For You? Well, it Might Not Be Good

We knew that! But research it seems, thinks that social isolation can be as bad for you as smoking!

OK, I’ll confess two things straight away; first, I haven’t read the research and second I’m already cynical. I know, I know, it’s not good to be cynical of something I haven’t read but I’m going to be anyway. If you want to tell me how cross you are about that then please do so in the comments box below. But still, I have read a few online articles since catching the headlines around this and I’ve seen some interesting points and learned a few things.

Do You Care? Read on

Person in cramped room

Bedroom Tax Unfair

The Government is changing the rules concerning housing benefit. It will only pay towards rent for low-income households based on the number of bedrooms it thinks people need. So, if you are a couple with no other people living in your house, and you have spare bedrooms, you are likely to lose some of your benefit. The government states this will save a lot of money. This was reported by the BBC: Do You Care? Read on

High Quality Chocolates

When is it Wrong to Share.

On one level, it’s never wrong. If people need care and support then why would we ever argue that they shouldn’t be given it? Also, there’s something about sharing and general generosity that is just good for everyone.  I would guess that most of us grew up being encouraged to share things with siblings, other family members, visitors or friends. It might have included giving up some sweets or sharing some material possession but whatever it was, and if you are like me, it might also have presented a dilemma: “What? Share my Sweets!” That was never easy and on top of that we also grew up with other notions around saving, preserving, defending and asserting ourselves. We were told to look after things or save some for later. How can we give stuff away and preserve our own comfort or keep ourselves ready for the future? It’s a tough place to be in when someone gives you a lovely box of chocolates and then suggests the first thing to do is to share. When it comes to chocolate, I also understand that that is not just a childhood dilemma! Do You Care? Read on