Tuesday, 10 June 2014

How the good people of Loveclough (sic) closed a care home for young mentally ill people


Earlier this year ago a care home accommodating four young and vulnerable mentally-ill residents was opened on Penny Lodge Lane, Loveclough, in Rossendale, Lancashire.  Mentally ill people are more likely to be discriminated against, insulted, abused, spat on, punched, kicked and robbed by the rest of the population than most other people.  Clearly, for this reason we should be concerned that they are properly looked after and protected from such dangers by caring and well-trained staff.  As it happens, the circumstances of the four residents were such that they were provided with 24-hour care, so they should have been safe.  But that didn’t stop the local populace from having a go.  After two months of a torrent of abusive emails to the home (with references to ‘schizophrenics’ and ‘paedophiles’), threatening messages left on staff cars, and staff being accosted in the street, the owners of the home have had enough and are moving to a new location (Rossendale Free Press, 6.6.14).  The final kick in the groin came from Nicola May, the Conservative candidate in the local council elections, whose election leaflet stated, ‘I’m just not sure that placing this facility in the middle of an estate full of family homes is the right thing to do’.  ‘We don’t know what kind of people are going to be there’, she recently told the Free Press. 
According to Mr Graeme Proctor, owner of Prospects Supported Living which ran the home, ‘We specifically chose a property on Penny Lodge Lane...as we felt it would have the right community spirit…’