Friday, August 24, 2012

“Everybody needs to experience Paradise at some times.”

Everybody needs to experience Paradise at sometimes.”

On April 1st 2011 I wrote the following: 

 St Anne’s Convalescent Home – full title Royal Manchester’s Children’s Convalescent Home.

"I went here, aged sixteen, to work with children and babies who were having a respite from their hazardous life in the slums of Manchester.
For three weeks they were loved and cared for and allowed to run wild on the sand hills by the sea. They were deloused and fed good nourishing food
Probationers and children alike lived life to the full under the watchful eyes of Matron, and a few tears were shed each time the children left, to be replaced by the next batch. We never knew what they were going back to."


One of my commenters  Unbearable Banishment– whose opinion I respect, gave me pause for thought when he said:

I know everyone's heart was in the right place but I question the wisdom of taking children from poverty stricken areas, showing them paradise for two weeks and then sending them back to their hell. To what end?”


I replied:

I believe for those children to see that life can be good must give some of them an incentive to rise out of their poverty. There would be follow up from the hospital for the serious cases.
Not all of them came from un- loving homes and there was a wonderful spirit in all but the odd tragic little mite.”
Then just the other day – out of the blue I  got this:

Hello. Pat I think I was in that home in the sixties I was there about 3 times one of my Sisters (got six sisters ) we lived in 2 up2down in Manchester.the home was paradise to us.the. food and staff was loverly. We went on walks most days and returned rosy cheeks and good appitite. Playing outside and looking over the wall at the sandunes. To me that was my paradis everybody needs to experience paradise at sometimes. Thanks for those treasured memories .”.Annette

11:32 AM
Annette was 20 years younger then the children I looked after but I recognise the spirit in her and I found her words both moving and reassuring.
Alas St Annes is no more.


OldLady Of The Hills said...

How wonderful that you recieved this validation of what you believed...! And to hear that after so very many years from someone who experienced their "paradise" at the very same place you worked. That has to be extremely heartwarming.

Pat said...

Naomi: I expect Annette has a story to tell.

Scarlet Blue said...

This reminds me of the families from the East End who in summer would come hop-picking in Kent. Some of them got a taste for the countryside and when they grew up they came and settled in places such as Yalding and East Peckham - perhaps everyone should get a taste of something different.


Pat said...

Scarlet: I think it's vital. Even with a happy childhood the highlight of our lives was camping in the Lake District. Heaven compared with the sooty hills of Rossendale.

Z said...

Oh Pat, for a few years we had a couple of slum kids to stay for the summer from Stratford (London, not on Avon). Their siblings went to another family. I got on well with them, although it was a strain on a young girl who wasn't used to their feistier attitude, and I've often wondered what became of them.

I'll blog about it, inevitably!

angryparsnip said...

How wonderful for you to hear from someone who was able to enjoy paradise for a few weeks. It is nice to come full circle and know that what you did did make a difference.
We have a somewhat similar program with a week at summer camp for children who would not be able to go somewhere like this.

Yes paradise can come in all shapes and sizes.

Lovely post today.

cheers, parsnip

Pat said...

Z: we always had to delouse our little darlings and were all devastated when some of us got nits and had to wear ghastly sassafrass compressess on our heads. I hope you weren't so unlucky.

Parsnip: it's good to hear there are similar schemes. If nothing else it is respite in what can be miserable lives.

Mage said...

That's just magic and brought back my summer escapes to the country. Magic indeed.

Pat said...

Mage: happy memories all around:)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Pat, oh, how that email's lifted my spirits!

What she's said is so utterly beautiful.

I live in a poor country and I have seen how some people rise out of their poverty. I feel it's because they were given some kind of hope as children.

I think UB's comment was perfect though, in that it made us pause to think.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Late to the show (as always) but this is prime reading. Instead of bringing them down, it inspired. I'm certainly far from rich but perhaps I should consider sponsoring someone to provide a needed uplift.

Pat said...

UB:so glad you saw it:)

GG: it lifted my spirits too and UB often give me pause for thought.

Chef Files said...

This particular Paradise consists of wonderful deeds performed by those who truly understood the needs of those for whom poverty is not a crime, more of a way of life.

I applaud you dear lady.

Pat said...

Chef Files: that is good to hear - easpecially as I suspect you are quite knowledgable about the subject.

PixieMum said...

Poverty is not always financial, there is a poverty of spirit and anything that shows a different way of life, introduces new ideas to children is good.

Well not just to children, this adult sometimes needs to look at life differently, but we all need something to look forward to (one of my late Mother's sayings)and a way out of the poverty of ideas, surroundings and aspirations.

Pat said...

PixieMum: very true and I agree whoe heartedly with your Mother. One must always have something to look forward to.

Granny Annie said...

I used to volunteer at a children's shelter. It was a place the police brought children whose parents had been arrested or who had been accused of neglecting the children. I and other volunteers would nurture an care for these neglected children and the majority responded with total love. They would greet us each day with happiness and hope and they would cling to us as we read to them and complimented them on minor triumphs. We devoted every minute to them and they soaked it up. In a way it was similar to being taken to a beautiful paradise. The majority of those children were returned to the same family after a brief period but I had to hope they would remember the days of special treatment at the center.

Pat said...

Granny Annie: I'm pretty sure they would. Just as I expect some of them stay in your memory.

Anonymous said...

Hello Pat. its Annette here thanks for your warm welcome to your blog last week Ian new to this blogging so please excuse any gaffs.! I agree that a few good memories stay with us always mine has of the convalescent home in St Anne's. Besides being cared for we were taught very important life skills as children like personal hygiene (more than a lick and spit)!.how to braid hair being eldest of 6girls very useful! And a real bath that we didn't share.when we returned to Manchester we were healthy and clean and happy and the nit nurse at school was very happy!! Again thanks. Annette

Pat said...

Lovely to hear from you Annette. You will always be welcome. I wonder if you stayed in the Manchster area or moved away like I did in my twenties.

Anonymous said...

Hi pat. I left home at 16 had various jobs but no career. 2 grown children. Met my other half in 30s he's Welsh now live on the llyn. Peninsula. I am on the coast where I feel I belong there's even some sandunes! .love your blogs. Annette

Pat said...

Annette: I left home at 16 too. How lovely that you ended up on the coast with sand dunes. I believe it is a lovely part of the world.
So glad you like the blog.