Final Weekend in Blackpool

So it is our last weekend here in Blackpool and it has been a fun one so far! Last night, we went to the pub for a meal and we stayed on for Karaoke. Sam and I sang a few songs, including The Drifters – Saturday night At the movies and Westlife Ft. Diana Ross – When you tell me that you love me. While singing the latter, the other people in the pub, were waving their mobile phones and singing along. We got a massive applause for it too!

Sam and Linda have taken the kids to have a ride on a vintage tram, while I am still at the hotel, looking after Toby, as he’s feeling  not well just now. (He will be OK he often has days when he’s not too good) Meanwhile, Josh has gone down to the hotel pool, as they have “funsplash” this afternoon, with a inflatable island that he can run across, trying not to be knocked in to the pool!

This evening is the kids talent show and the boys are taking part. Hopefully Toby will feel better by then, as he going to do magic tricks. All the boys are entering, doing various acts, from circus stuff to rollerblade stunts.

Tomorrow, we are going to the Sandcastle Waterpark, which should be fun. I am, deffo going on all the flumes and ride the waves in the wave pool! Meanwhile, back to today, I am catching up on a few bits, while sat in the bar in the hotel. Don’t worry though, as I am nipping up every 45 mins to check on Toby and I have told him to use the phone if he needs me. (He just has to pick up the phone and press the button that says Bar and ask to speak to me. – ask for the large ginger haired guy on a acer laptop.) Talking of which, I need to nip up and check on him!

Blackpool (2nd Holiday Post)

Greetings from Blackpool. We’re about half way through our 2 weeks of fun by the sea and we have been having a great time!  Today, we have been back to the Tower, as Toby didn’t get a chance to go up, as he was not very well. So we did the circus and Toby got a special hello from Mookie the Clown, who he got to meet and have his picture taken with during the intermission and at the tower top, I got to take this breathtaking photo of Blackpool.

This evening, there’s a disco for the kids, so we are all going downstairs for that. No doubt, Sam and I will have a couple of pints too!  Tomorrow, the weather is going to be bad, so we have planned indoor activities. We’re taking the kids to Madam Tussauds in the morning and in the afternoon, we are taking the boys to a indoor soft play centre.

Before I go, I need to mention that the hotel food is fantastic. It is a buffet with several choices of hot and cold food and deserts. The kids are able to have as much or as little as they want! Tonight, I had roast pork with all the trimmings and Jam Rollie Poly for pud!

Greetings from Blackpool!

Greetings from Blackpool! The Smith Family are here in Blackpool for our annual Summer Holiday by the sea! Most of the family arrived here yesterday lunchtime, but I arrived later last night, due to dealing with a last minute hiccup at work.

Btw,  Sam’s Mum is looking after Sox and Mollie while we are away.

We are staying in one of the larger chained Hotels here in Blackpool and are not far from the beach. The Hotel is nice, as it has a pool for the kids, a kids club and a couple of bars for me and Sam. I book this holiday months and months in advance and make sure we are in a block of rooms, instead of all over the place. I also make sure that the phones are taken out the kids room as well. 🙂

So after a decent night’s kip, a shower and breakfast, Sam and I took the kids to the Tower, where we watched the circus, (with fountain finale) watched the dancing in the ball room and braved the “walk of faith” at the tower top. After lunch, we have been on the beach. The kids have enjoyed paddling, while Sam and I sat in deckchairs, enjoying the sun! (I have had a paddle too and helped the kids build sandcastles!)

Kyle enjoying the beach

This evening, Kyrlo and Josh want to check out the hotel pool, so I am taking them swimming, (even though they have been to the beach) while the other boys go to the kids club. (Sam is taking Zak and Will swimming tomorrow evening) Tomorrow we are hitting the Pleasure Beach and I will be taking Kyrlo, Toby and Zak on the slower rides. (I so want to go on the Wallace and Gromit Ride and on the driving ride!)

Let hope the weather stays good and our holiday is not like last year’s! (Toby had to be rushed to hospital during last year’s holiday, as he got Septicemia, due to his kidney transplant he had a couple of years back. Sam sat with him day and night in Intensive Care, while Toby was fighting for his life. It was very touch and go, but Toby fought off the infection and is OK now, thankfully.)

 

Playing On Swings and Roundabouts

Just a quick post from my tablet, as I am down the park with the kids on the Jets Unit. (One of the lads took this picture of me sat on the swings.) I was on the roundabout earlier and the slide! Who say’s Kyle McLaughlin doesn’t know how to have fun in the sun! (and Yeah, I am wearing my kilt if you wanted to know hehe)

65261483_458829374686825_886347380904488091_n
Fun in the sun, down the park

Tonight, Sam and I, Kyrlo, Billy, some of the care staff and a few boys from the Jets Unit are camping out in the garden, behind J Block. It should be fun and because the weather is so good; it should get the boys some fresh air. We have already put the tents up and later we are having a BBQ and then lighting a camp fire. (Sam has done a risk assessment so it should be fine, plus we have a fire extinguisher on standby!) It’s currently 68F outside and we are making the most of the hot weather while we can.

End Of Year Summer Spectacular!

The programme for the End of Year Show has been released and Sam and I think it is going to beat last year’s show!

  • Karen (our Head Teacher) is performing “Love Shine a Light” by Katrina and the Waves
  • Year 9 are performing “Let it Swing” by Bobbysocks and have learnt to sing it in Norwegian!
  • Sam and I are performing “Take me To Your Heaven” by Charlotte Neilson
  • Year 3 performing “Puppet on a String” by Sandie Shaw and dressed up as various puppets
  • Year 6 are performing “Making Your Mind Up” by Bucks Fizz
  • Year 5 are performing “Oooh Are Just a Little Bit” by Gina G, (dressed as Cheerleaders!)
  • The Care Staff sing Waterloo by ABBA
  • Some of the Teaching Staff are singing Fly On The Wings of Love by The Olson Brothers

~ Interval ~ (Refreshments and Raffle)

The 2nd half is mixed talent, with the following acts:

  • Year 10 performing the Country Roads Scene from Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Merlin’s Last Stand) featuring our Head playing Poppy Adams! Sam is playing his own arrangement of Country Roads \ The theme to Kingsmen and I will be playing my Bagpipes during the 1st part of Country Roads. (In my Kilt and Sporran of course, but then for those of you who follow our blog will know; I wear a Kilt to work and it is rare to see me in trousers!)
  • Some of the Year 8 Lads will be doing Magic
  • Year 4, 5 & 7 Clowing Around (They don’t know it yet, but it will involve some of the teachers getting flanned and Karan doesn’t know she’s going to get gunged too! That will be really funny!)
  • Reception and Year 2 perform The YMCA by The Village People (calling themselves the “Village Kids”
  • Year 5, 6 and 8 lads wil be doing BMX and Skateboard Stunts on stage
  • Various from Years 3 – Year 10s doing an Aikido demonstration
  • Some of the older boys from the Acorns Unit reenact the scene from Little Britain “Dennis Waterman – sing da theme tuneeeeeeeeee!” with Sam a member of care staff, (who looks sorta like the real Dennis Waterman) sing “I could be so good for you,” which of course is the theme to Minder. “Oi! I don’t insist on singing da theme tune!”

Finale:

  • The Care Staff and some of the boarders from Jets and Oaks perform Juke Box Jive by The Rubetttes
  • Myself and some of the Care Staff (and some of the boarders from Squirrels and Birds) perform Is This the way to Amerello (in the style of Peter K. (Various shots of the coridoors and parts of the school will be projected onto a green screen on the stage)
  • Sam and Karen sing Sometimes When We Touch by Newton, with the kids cycling on to stage, cartwheeling onto stage, the kids and staff joining in in various costumes) including a vicar, Neapolitan, clowns and much more!

So it’s going to be a great show, with just over a month to go! The show is always a great fundraiser and great fun! I know I enjoy getting to be silly and let my hair down at the end of term, when for one night, the rules get chucked out the window and everyone has a great time!

End of the year is always a very exciting time, but also makes me feel sad, because the older pupils leave and over the years, I have built some great friendships with them, watched them grow up and progress through the school. Some have been a little cheeky or have had hiccups, but I am proud to say I have been there to help and support them over the years. I will miss them when they leave and hope that the boys who leave, keep in touch.

One Very Angry Head Of Care!!!!

Update: One of the 2 boys was suspended from school for 2 weeks, while the other was given 2 weeks detention, put on report and was grounded for 2 weeks.

I am not impressed at all tonight and am rather disappointed. I had a call at 7.30 this evening, after one of the staff on Birds, called to tell me that 2 boys, (both 9) had been bought back by the Police, after smashing a window on a house down the road.

Not only had they both been involved in the incident, they had also snuck off school grounds, without gaining permission from their Unit House Parent. By doing so, they could of put themselves in danger, as they are not allowed off site normally, unless with a member of staff.

As for breaking someone’s window, words do not even come close to how disappointed and how angry I am with both of them. The Police wanted to know why they broke the window and were taken into the Quiet Room for this, with me as an Appropriate Adult. After getting a right telling off from the Police, they were told to sit outside the Unit Office and wait for me to finish speaking with the Police Officers. Both got away with a simple Police Caution.

Once finished with the Police, the 2 boys were taken to the Unit Office, where they did get a good grilling. I told them that they are in the biggest trouble yet and that this could have serious repercussions, which may result in the pair of them being expelled from our school. However, this is not up to me and is up to my boss Karen, who is Head Teacher at our school. The boys knew it was serious when they were told to address me as “Mr McLaughlin” instead of Kyle. If one of the kids are told to address me as Mr. McLaughlin out of school hours, they know they are in BIG Trouble.

The behavior they display outside of our school does have an effect on the school’s reputation in the community. Breaking a window for the fun of it, which is what the pair said was the reason they broke the window and because they said they were board, is not acceptable behavior. I have grounded the pair of them, but that does not get them off the hook. I have said that the pair of them must be in line sight of a member of staff at all times, (Except for when they use the toilet, are taking a bath or are in bed) their pocket money is being docked, to pay for the repair to the window and tomorrow, the pair of them will be going in the school car, to visit the old lady, (who had her window broken) to apologize.

People look at me and think “Kyle is a right pushover”. The Chubby Ginger bloke who wears a kilt to work. But I can be serious and when needed, I can exert my authority when needed, so when something like this happens, heaven help you!

I sent my handy hubby (Sam) round to the old lady’s house, where he has boarded up the window for her and removed the shards of glass. She was very thankful for this and I also went down to see her, to let her know that the 2 boys that broke her window are NOT getting off lightly. She was very nice and made me a cup of tea. She was telling us about the school and how different it was in the 1940s. It was interesting to see some really old photos.

I hope that such severe punishment, (which I had discussed with Karen over the phone) will make them think about what they have done and will remind them that their actions have consequences. If they had of been 10 years old, they could of been arrested and put in front of a Magistrate on Tuesday morning. They would not be able to hide behind me or the school (not that I would let them, as criminal damage is serious) and would more than likely be expelled there and then. They also know I had to make a phone call to both of their parents, to tell them what their boys had been up to and to reassure them that this is not being taken lightly and that their bad behavior is serious enough to warrant suspension or expulsion, which then would result in their care being handed back to their parents. Also I shall be speaking to both of their Social Workers on Tuesday about this. (By then, I will know the fate of the pair and if they will be allowed to remain at school, with punishments being given between me and Karen.)

On a care side of things, I can dish out punishment and if instructed to by Karen, I will. This could include restrictions on leaving the building, (J Block) being made to go to bed early or given community service on the school grounds, while being supervised by a member of staff. (IE: Litter picking, extra chores etc) While Karen may impose punishments such as: Being on Report, (Having to report to a member of staff at certain points in the day and having that member of staff sign a sheet, if they have attended and have behaved) and detentions \ after school detentions.

Bottom line, what they did was unacceptable and school is taking this seriously. For tonight, they have had a grilling from me and sent to bed early. I have had to write a report and speak to members of staff about this incident. (None of the members of staff I have spoken to, recall being asked to leave the school grounds.) Even if they did, they would of clearly been told no – they may not leave the school grounds unaccompanied.

So thanks to that, Family Night got wrecked, as I was baking with the kids, when I got called into work. But that’s part and parcel of the job. It may of been my day off, but in this job, but when I get that call, I always have to answer.

Rooftop Emergency: Pupil Threatens to Jump!

Update: The Year 9 Pupil is now back at school and read me a special letter (he had written while in Hospital) at Friday afternoon assembly. I got a massive round of applause and I got a big hug off the lad too!

I was told that “I went above and beyond to help a Pupil in crisis” and in his hour of need, I listened to him, I supported him all the way through it, and I showed him that I care, not because I am paid to, but because I want to care and that I care about each and every Pupil, no matter if they are naughty or nice, if they give me verbal abuse or put pins on my chair. Finally as stated by our Head Teacher, I have a heart of gold and that shines a beacon of light, which gives comfort to our pupils. They know they are not alone and what ever they are going through, they don’t have to go through it alone. Staff are always there to listen, to help pupils work through what ever it is that is bothering them and find a solution to that problem. Our school motto is “if you can’t help yourself, there will always someone will always help you”, which is very true.

The School, the staff and pupils are very lucky to have someone like me and I in turn, am very lucky to work at such a wonderful school, full of kids who are special, not because they have special needs, but because they are very special kids.

 

I have just managed to get home, I am very tired and honestly, rather disappointed. Right, lemme go to the beginning and explain what happened…

One of the pupils in my school, suffered a “Psychotic Episode”. (psychosis is where one hears, sees or feels things or have thoughts that someone is going to harm them.) This Year 9 Pupil, (who I cannot name for legal reasons) climbed onto the roof of the Gym in D Block. I was first alerted by someone in the office, who spotted someone on the roof of the Gym. Of course I followed emergency procedures and used my radio to put out an urgent message to the office. I used my mobile in the meantime, to phone the Fire Brigade. Sam was able to get me up onto the flat roof of C Block, (via a access door in B Block) which is not as high as D Block, so I could speak to him and try to defuse the situation. By now, me on the rooftop drama had got half the school’s attention and unfortunately, we ended up with a crowd on the playground, even though they were told to  stay back.

To cut a long story short, through me talking to the pupil in question and talk him down. I told the Police that I know the lad better than anyone and I knew I could get him to come down with a little time and patience.  It took 2 and a half hours to talk him down. With assistance from Durham Fire and Rescue, we got the lad down off the roof and into an ambulance. I went with him to the Hospital, where we sat for a staggering 10 hours! I am sorry, but for someone in crisis, that is far too long to be sat in A&E and the waiting room was not the best or appropriate place to spend half the time,  as he was very anxious. Finally, Mental Health Liaison came to see us and he is now in the care of  the Hospital.

More money needs to be invested in Mental Health services. I know A&E is busy, I get there are lots of very sick people in the department, but Mental Health crisis should not be pushed down the queue. People who are poorly because of mental health, should not have to wait more than 2 hours to see a Mental Health Professional in A&E. Tomorrow, I am going to write to my MP, because the stigma with mental health needs to stop and better care needs to be out there and not just a “postcode lottery”.

I went above and beyond for a pupil and I didn’t need to do so. I reached out to someone who was  in a crisis. In this job, you have to wear many hats. I’m not just the Head of Care, I am a friend the kids can always come to when they are feeling down. The kids know my office door is always open for a private chat and if I am not at work, they know they can turn to any member of staff for help. If needed, I can always be called and I will come into work to help a young person, regardless if it’s 3:30pm on a Sunday afternoon or 3:30 am on a Wednesday morning.

The kids know they can talk to me and they know if they want one, a hug is always something I am willing to give. From kids who are homesick and miss mum and dad, to kids who feel they are struggling to cope, I am here to listen and I will not judge them or tell them what to do. I will always explore ways to resolve the problem and they know that they can confide in me. They also know when I have a “legal duty” to speak to break confidentiality, if they or someone else may be in danger. However, I always make sure that I explain why I have to break confidentiality and will always continue to support them through this process.

Today was incident to reflect on and made me think that as a school, we need to be more eagle eyed to spot when things are getting out of hand and to to intervene. I am not blaming anyone at school, but we need to work harder to prevent something like this happening again.

I was always taught by my mum to “not dwell on the what if’s) and this is the same when you think about today. If we had of got this pupil in to see the School Doctor, before a roof top drama started, the outcome would of been the same. The same outcome regardless, would of been a trip to A&E, as we cannot keep a young person safe from himself or keep other people in school safe. A&E was the appropriate place for him to receive help and when he comes out of hospital, he will be welcomed back to school, with no bad feelings and he will not be told off. It is not the way things are done at our school!

I have been told he will get after care and he will get plenty of help in school as well. All his friends and the staff just want the best for him and I think that he is very lucky to have so many people who care about him.

Right, time for bed, I am back at work tomorrow! G’nite 🙂

When The Kids Shock You With Their Talents!

On Friday, at our weekly £It’s The Weekend Party,” (Which we do in the Sports Hall and is Karaoke and Disco, which is very popular with the kids) a lad, who was placed at our school just before the Easter Break, shocked me, shocked Sam and shocked the other kids with his voice. The lad I am talking about is 14 and is very shy. However, he decided to sing on Friday night, something Sam has never been requested to play.

He had requested to sing Nessun Dorma, which is by Luciano Pavarotti. It is a track that is very hard to sing and I got to give it to this lad, because he shocked everyone. The song is difficult as it was and on the last part, where he sings the line

Dilegua, oh notte!  Tramontate, stelle! Tramontate, stelle! All’alba vincerò! Vincerà! Vincerò!

shocked everyone, as the last part you really need to hold the note for quite a while. When he sang the final Vincerò! he held the last note, which caused me to drop my drink. I have not seen a child be able to sing like this, ever! It was a right shock and he got a standing ovation from the care staff and the other kids. Aparently he was taught to sing like this by his Grandad. It’s amazing!

Meanwhile, I have moved to a temporary office, while the roof in J Block is repaired. (As you will already know, my office is on the top floor of the building) So now I am in a Portakabin for the next few weeks, while the roof is repaired and the top floor offices are repainted and re-carpeted, after water ingress, due to the leaking roof.  It will do for now. Our 2 floor Portakabin is behind J Block at the moment and you can see the Laundry and Boiler House in the background. I must also thank Sam for helping us move everything out. Our Portakabin may be smaller and we have no kitchen for making brews, (we have to do that from the General Care Office) but at least it’s water tight and at least we have loos!

I got rather peeved this afternoon, when I get a call from one of the Units, as a parent had turned up and decided she wanted her son to come home.  However she knows he can’t as there is a Care Order.

A care order is given by a court. It allows a council to take a child into care. Under the Children Act 1989 a council can apply for a care order if it believes a child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.

The court decides if the child can be taken into care.

Care orders last until:

  • the child’s 18th birthday
  • an order is made giving parental responsibility to another person – eg through adoption or special guardianship
  • the court lifts the order (this is called ‘discharging’ the order)

This boarder in question, has been with us for a couple of  years now.

The Care Order means by law, we are responsible for the care of this child. His mum turning up just made matters worse, so I got a call to come and deal with it. (As I am on Call this all of this weekend) Thankfully her son didn’t get to hear all the commotion or he would of ended up being very upset.

The mother of this child does not know when to keep her mouth shut and all I got was verbal abuse. I know the kids sometimes tell me to F*** off, but this woman’s every sentence had the F word in it.  I had had enough and asked her to leave. Of course she refused, so I asked her again and got told where to stick it. So I pulled out my phone and I called the Police. (999) She got arrested for breaching the peace and more than likely will be locked up until tomorrow. As for the boarder in question, I did speak to him and let him know what had happened. He wasn’t impressed.

While it’s dry, I am heading out to the garden and play footie with our boys.

Shift From Hell!!! – Thanks Storm Gareth!

x1080-dQZ
Mother Nature was well and truly on her monthly last night!

Last night was a very tricky and interesting shift. I’ve had a few shifts, where things go wrong, but not on this level.

I was on a cover shift last night, as the Unit Manager got stuck due to the bad weather. By about 10pm, it was very windy, as Storm Gareth took hold. There was not much we could do but get everyone to bed and  batten down the hatches. By midnight, the wind was very very strong and caused a power cut.

Normally, Power cuts do not cause a problem at work, as J Block has it’s own pair of Diesel Generators on the roof of the building and the main school have their own set of generators in-between D and J Block, on the lower ground floor. In the event of a voltage drop, the generators are supposed to kick in and take over the supply, before a blackout occurs. In our case, obviously not! For some reason, the automated transfer did not happen and I had to call home and get Sam, as the whole building lost power. At the time the power had failed, I was hoisting one of the disabled kids from the bathroom to his bedroom.

None of the kids were put in danger by the power failure, as we were able to put any critical equipment onto battery power, while Sam manually switched us across to the emergency power. The Care Call System also has battery backups and we were able to monitor the kids as normal.

So once the power was back on and I could get on and do some work on the computer, things seemed to get going well. A couple of hours past, and then… The fire alarm went off. on Continuous “Evacuate” signal.

FYI: The Fire Alarm has 2 separate alarm tones. Intermittent Wailing (Fire elsewhere in the building) and Continuous Wailing. (Evacuate) Intermittent wailing sounds on for 5 seconds and then stays off for 2 seconds and then repeats. Evacuate is a continuous long tone. Both are extremely loud!

So I followed the School’s Residential Block Fire Procedures and sent someone to go to the Fire Repeater Panel, find out where the fire alarm has been activated from and then radio through the information.

As a serious developing emergency was ongoing, it was apparent that the alarm, (which we had no idea was a false alarm) was coming from the Generator Plant on the roof. This now leaves me with making a hard decision, Evacuate or not. I decided that partial evacuation was the safest option and ordered all available staff to scramble to the 3rd floor to assist with evacuation. I then, (as per procedure) telephoned the Head to brief her on the ongoing drama. I also dialled 999 and called for the Fire Brigade.

We evacuated as many kids as we could on beds, using the Evacuation Lift and carried smaller children down the stairs. We evacuated everyone to the 2 units on the 2nd floor, while staff re-assured the kids on the other units that everything was OK and to stay in bed until told otherwise.

The Fire Brigade were on scene very quickly. The first thing they took care of, was the supply to the generators. Not being able to see to the roof and with the high winds, the Firemen used the internal stairs to the 4th floor and then used the access door to the roof.

Thankfully, it was a false alarm and the generators had not caught fire! Water ingress had got into the generator housing and into one of the smoke alarms. The water had set off the sensor, which then sent a urgent message to the Fire Alarm Panel. The system is setup, so that if a fire breaks out in either generator, it sends a immediate evacuate signal. A fire in the Generator plant is rare but could be deadly.

Sam was able to isolate the smoke alarm in question, while leaving the other 2 in tact. The Firemen were really helpful and helped us get the kids back to their units.

We finally stood down at 3.30am this morning and managed to get the kids back to bed. However, we had a lot to write in the kids log books, as well as the unit log books. I am glad when it was morning and I could handover to the morning staff.

I don’t know how Sam managed to do a full day at work, after only getting 2 hours sleep! (Luckily our live in carer at home, looked after our boys) or the kids on the units, who were rudely awoken by the fire alarm. However, it was a test of our emergency awareness and professionalism in such an emergency. (Even though we didn’t intend for this to happen.

I’ve been into work for a couple of hours today and was told that the kids felt reassured, by the way that we dealt with the situation and felt safe knowing we had everything in hand.

Meanwhile, elsewhere on site; we had a tree come down and flattened our old Portakabin, which is no longer used. (As it is not fit for purpose)

I hope I NEVER have a shift like this again… All HELL broke loose.

As for me, I got a hot date with the bath and a glass of Prosecco. Cheers! 🙂

Yes, I know it has been ages!

Once again, sorry for the lack of posts, over the last few months. Sam and I have not had a chance to blog much, but we will try and keep you updated with what’s happening at our end, as much as we can.

So, here’s what’s been going on, condensed; as I am actually at work and posting this on my break.

Major Building Work on B Block

B Block at school is currently closed and has been, since November. The reason for this, is because of asbestos removal. B Block is riddled with it and it is cheaper to remove it, than spend millions knocking the block down and rebuilding. So we have hording all around B Block, access is currently blocked off and it means pupils need to go via D Block; to access A and C Block. We also have a temporary modular building, which currently holds the Kitchen and Canteen. (Once the asbestos is removed, we are having a new kitchen installed and a larger canteen area.

Work is going well and we hope that by April, all the building work will be done.

Poorly Toby

One of the kids we foster was taken very ill in the Summer Holidays, after getting Septis and was rushed into hospital while we were in Blackpool. Toby was well looked after at the Victoria Hospital, before being air lifted to Sheffield, for specialist ITU treatment. Sam stayed with him all the way and Toby made a full recovery.

The Septis was caused by a wound which got infected, after he had a kidney transplant. Toby came to us after his operation and a 3 week stay at the  Children’s Hospital in Sheffield. Our “Tobes” is getting better and stronger every day. He no longer uses a wheelchair or sticks, but gets tired very easily. Due to this, he uses the Day Teaching Unit on Sickbay, where if needed, he can rest.

Christmas and NYE

Christmas was very busy for us all. Sam was working on Christmas day, after the Care Staff accidentally activated the Fire Alarm, while cooking and the birds until lost all lighting, due to a fault with a light fitting.

I worked Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve on Waking Night (Christmas Eve) and Sleep In on NYE. We let the kids stay up on the Unit I am in charge of, to tire them out mainly, as they were so hyper about Christmas! (Can you blame them?)

On Christmas Morning, I drove home, opened presents with the kids and then went to bed. In the afternoon, the family arrived and we had Christmas Dinner, which got delayed, due to the fire alarm activation. (Sam had to respond to it) Later, I was back on night shift again.

I was off Boxing Day and worked days on the 27th – 30th. On New Year’s eve, we had a party over in the School Gym, which surprisingly, our Head and a few other teachers attended. (I wonder if she used the cattle prod to make them come.) Sam did his usual Karaoke and Disco, which was great fun. At midnight, we sang Auld Langs Ayne and rang in the new year together.

As I said, Sam and I will try to post as often as we can. We haven’t forgotton you, it’s a case of finding 5 mins to blog. Right break over, so back to work I go.

Finally… From myself, Sam, Toby, Kyrlo, Liam, Will, Linda, Derek, Tommy and Martha, (Tommy and Martha are my parents, Linda is Sam’s Mum and Derek is his Step Dad)  Sox the cat and and from all the staff here at school (boarders too) we would like to wish you a happy and safe new year and here’s to 2019!