In Residence

A Day in the Life of…

by Dr Keith J. White

Posted on May 1 2015

Yesterday evening one of the young adults who lives at Mill Grove asked me how my day went, and I replied in the usual East End vernacular, “O.K.” At his request I expanded briefly: “As full, varied and rich as every day at Mill Grove”. Which led me to attempt in this article to describe what did happen yesterday (and therefore on many other days).

I began the day by taking six green bags of garden waste to the local council tip (“refuse amenity”), and was warmly welcomed by the staff there. They know me very well and yet have still not plucked up the courage to ask how on earth we generate so much waste that I seem to be a daily visitor. The bags were needed by other members of the community because we are getting the place ready for our annual gathering of the clan: “Our Day” is the name it has acquired over the years. (As it happens I will needed to go to the tip with five bags this morning, and I have six for tomorrow!)

There were a number of letters to reply to on my desk, and having drafted replies I turned to my laptop to deal with what seems like an unending stream of emails: conferences, training, tribunals, and minutes.

Then I went into the garden to start trimming the big hedge: it is about 30 metres in length and six metres high, so it takes a bit of work. While working on it I planned meetings in my head: that’s where and when I do most of my creative thinking. The job went well including filling another refuse bag with clippings, but it took longer than anticipated and so I had to jog to a local electrical supplier to … Continue reading …

In Residence

A Foundation for Life

by Dr Keith J. White &, davidlane

Posted on April 1 2015

It was a strange day not only by normal standards, but also for me, in that I spent it with people whose ages spanned 100 years.  Yet on reflection I realised that some of the connections between the generations could not have … Continue reading …

In Residence

Abuse of the Heart, Soul and Mind

by Dr Keith J. White

Posted on March 1 2015

For months now in the UK, possibly even years, we have grown accustomed to new revelations about how celebrities like Jimmy Saville and Gary Glitter have abused children and young people. The label for what they have done is usually something sexual, from inappropriate or indecent behaviour to rape. … Continue reading …

In Residence

A Clash of Cultures

by Dr Keith J. White

Posted on February 1 2015

In this article I want to describe the nature of two completely different, indeed antithetical cultures that affect the lives of children. Because culture is the air that children breathe, it infiltrates every aspect of their lives, their relationships, the space, the environment in which they grow up. … Continue reading …

In Residence

Letting Children Play a Part

by Dr Keith J. White &, davidlane

Posted on January 1 2015

As we enter a new year it is a time to look ahead with hope, and possibly longing. I do so having immersed myself in Jan Swafford’s biography of Beethoven, and try as I might I cannot find a way out of this enticing deep water unaided. So … Continue reading …

In Residence

Don’t they know that Christmas is for Everyone?

by Dr Keith J. White

Posted on December 1 2014

In the run up to Christmas this year I visited two members of the Mill Grove family: both of whom are in their late seventies. One was terminally ill and in a hospice, the other had suffered a series of strokes that had left him partly paralysed down the right … Continue reading …

In Residence

Villages and Compost Heaps

by Dr Keith J. White

Posted on November 1 2014

The last chapter of the book, The Growth of Love, is entitled “Villages and Compost Heaps”, and in this column I would like to come back to this theme once again. For the record I last wrote an In Residence column on the subject in June 2002 (It Takes … Continue reading …

In Residence

Therapy and Place

by Dr Keith J. White &, davidlane

Posted on October 1 2014

When I began my research into residential child care at Edinburgh University in 1969 one of the pioneers whose work I discovered and cherished was Barbara Dockar-Drysdale. The place forever associated with her name is the Mulberry Bush School, Standlake, west of Oxford. For some reason, although I … Continue reading …

In Residence

Celebrating North Wales

by Dr Keith J. White

Posted on September 1 2014

In August 2014 the extended family of Mill Grove enjoyed its 39th consecutive holiday in North Wales. Perhaps the anniversary would not have been so significant if I had not read John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps in recent months. Or perhaps this year’s stay was uniquely special.

(Just for … Continue reading …

In Residence

goodenoughcaring Issue 15

by Charles Sharpe davidlane

Posted on August 14 2014

The 15th issue of the goodenoughcaring Journal was published in June. Edited by Charles Sharpe, this is a journal which we recommend. Charles writes:
Given the interest in the general affairs of Scotland this year, we are serving up a Scottish flavoured goodenoughcaring journal. Though showing distinct signs of have taken … Continue reading …

Other Reviews

My Underpants Rule :by Kate and Rod Power

Book Review by David Lane

Posted on August 14 2014

This book is a quick read for the reviewer as it is only 28 pages including the covers but it contains an important message for little children, put plainly and powerfully. How does one help little children to stand up for themselves against sexual abusers? This book has a good … Continue reading …

In Residence

Throwing Stones

by Dr Keith J. White

Posted on August 1 2014

Throwing stones has a long and chequered history. Examples that come to mind immediately include David’s heroic killing of Goliath, the throwing of stones by resistance or revolutionary movement against occupying forces, the use of stones as a method of execution, and the story of how Jesus intervened when … Continue reading …

Child Protection

Sexual Abuse

by davidlane

Posted on July 30 2014

What has been learnt from the recent allegations of sexual abuse and from the investigations and court cases arising from the disclosures? And what more can we learn?

We suspect that professionals have not learnt a lot. They already knew that all sorts of people abuse children. We are decades away … Continue reading …

In Residence

“This is my Story”

by Dr Keith J. White

Posted on July 1 2014

The importance of life stories cannot be overstated. By life stories I mean the process in which a child, young person or adult tells in some consecutive or coherent age-appropriate way the narrative of their life to date. And implicit in this is the fact that someone who … Continue reading …

In Residence

By Choice or By Order?

by Dr Keith J. White &, davidlane

Posted on June 1 2014

Over many years of observation it has become apparent to me that children and adults live and act for one of two fundamental reasons: because of choice, or because of an order. (By choice I mean that they act primarily out of free will, not because they have been … Continue reading …

Health

Hill End

by davidlane

Posted on May 17 2014

About two years ago I stumbled across a blogger called ‘Pitsea pirate’ who gave a poignant description of his childhood and how he ended up in Hill End Adolescent Unit for six months when he was twelve because he kept running away from home. This led me to also … Continue reading …

In Residence

How Attached Are We to Children?

by Dr Keith J. White &, davidlane

Posted on May 1 2014

It is well known that all the nations in the world apart from the USA and Somalia are signed up to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. But from the very start there have been those of us who have wondered what it actually … Continue reading …

In Residence

“For what we are About to Receive may the Lord Make us Truly Thankful”

by Dr Keith J. White &, davidlane

Posted on April 4 2014

In the last week of March 2014 there were six of us together in North Wales. We called ourselves a work-party, and the purpose of our trip and stay was to attend to some of the repairs and maintenance required by the two houses belonging to Mill Grove in … Continue reading …

In Residence

Better Late Then Never

by Dr Keith J. White &, davidlane

Posted on March 10 2014

My very first visit to Hungary was when I touched down in Budapest airport on Monday 17th February 2014. For many other passengers it seemed as if it was just another flight. But for me it was imbued with huge personal significance.

The reason is that it was as … Continue reading …

In Residence

Better Late Then Never.

Posted on March 5 2014