Sarah Next Door

Thank god for Sarah from Stepping Forward,
And her deep and personal understanding of autistic issues!
She was out of action from surgery for a while,
I couldn’t ask for help with the council house-moving,

But now, she’s back (better than ever),
And written me an awesome letter!
We’ll make some small adjustments,
But, some awesome excerptsβ€”

“We are a small organisation supporting people living with disability. We have
known Robin Smith since September 2019, when we began supporting him
with his complex circumstances. He came to us very unwell, without an
income, having lived in a car for around 7 months in locations across the
country. A distant relative had been concerned about his incoherent Facebook
postings and invited him to stay with her in Reading.”

“We accompanied Robin to GP appointments, Job Centre meetings and
introduced him to community based mental health organisations (eg
horticultural therapy, depression support groups). The GP was very
concerned about Robin and referred him urgently to a psychiatrist, to a
counselling service, as well as to the adult autism service in Reading.”

(Not that being referred urgently counts for anything, though!),

“By coincidence, my own home was immediately next door to the house where
Robin was staying last year for 3 months. We daily heard his cries of
frustration and distress – often throughout the night.”

“…This inability to exercise means that he has limited strategies to manage his ADHD. This is a huge source of frustration and depression.”

“The purpose of this letter is to share our view that HMO or shared accommodation is not appropriate for Robin. Robin has a history now of being made homeless in disputes over which he has no control. It would be very dangerous to allow him to remain in a housing situation where external noise presents a major burden on his mental

It’s actually pretty sobering reading!

This is what true dual-channel empathy looks like (emotional and cognitive).

Coincidentally, I also saw Sarah the other day as we were going into Tesco at exactly the same time! She had her son with her, so could only chat briefly, but she was the first person that I know whom I’ve seen in person since late March! Not even when living in the car was that ever true. It was a brief, but amazing feeling!


21 thoughts on “Sarah Next Door

    1. Thanks Cassa! :). It was worth writing then πŸ˜„.

      Yes indeed :). Community is everything, been saying it for years actually… πŸ˜†.

      “I even got teary a little…”

      πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ€—. I know what you mean :).


      1. I am okay, I have my bad days but my daughter is always there to listen when I need her.
        I stayed at my daughter’s house for 5 days taking care of their dog while they took our motor home to Nebraska.
        I got back home yesterday and now I am missing Kelsey, she is a greyhound they adopted in March, she is a beautiful and lovable dog!
        It’s good to be with Hank and Jeff again though.
        Poor Hank has to see the vet on Thurs as he has a growth on his back that came on very suddenly.( like in a few days. )
        You are always in my good thoughts, Robin


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