Innovative Ludlow Young Health project to launch in February 2019

Last night, Councillor Tracey Huffer announced an important project to help young people with mental health and wellbeing issues in the Ludlow area. For some time, we have been saying that if no one else will help our town, we must help ourselves.

Ludlow Young Health is a project run by Ludlow Youth Partnership with the Children’s Society. Its initial aims are to provide informal drop-in advice sessions for young people (aged 0-25). We are the first market town in Shropshire to fund our own project with the Children’s Society. We are on a steep learning curve. But we have hopes that we can expand the project in the future. We are thinking big.

Continue reading “Innovative Ludlow Young Health project to launch in February 2019”

Shropshire in crisis: Health special measures and service cuts, future could be “Armageddon” – is it safe to live in Shropshire?

Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust is in special measures because patient safety is being compromised. Telford A&E will close overnight for safety reasons. Rural maternity units, including Ludlow, are closed for live births. For safety reasons. Shropshire Council is axing £4 million from its public health budge despite the opposition of the director of public health. The council’s cabinet member for adult social care and public health is predicting “Armageddon” in public health services.

Soon, the medics will be saying its not safe to live in Shropshire. It is beginning to feel that way.

Continue reading “Shropshire in crisis: Health special measures and service cuts, future could be “Armageddon” – is it safe to live in Shropshire?”

Minster invites Shropshire MYPs to talks after mental health tops Youth Parliament Commons debate

In a guest post, Shropshire’s MYPs Laura Sheldon and Rhys Hart talk about their days in the House of Commons, how civilised it was compared to bear pit of debates by mainstream MPs, but how difficult it can be to get to speak on your first day in the House. The debate was not just a talking shop. Motions were selected for support over the next year. And Health Minister Norman Lamb invited those involved in the mental health motion, including our Shropshire MYPs, to the Department of Health to discuss their concerns and how young people can help tackle mental health issues.

It was pitch black outside when my alarm went off on Friday 14 November, writes Laura.  3.30am isn’t exactly bright and early. It’s just early. A taxi was picking me up at 4.45 and I needed time to wake up, eat and get ready for one of the most exciting days of my life. I was off to the House of Commons to debate issues voted for by over 800,000 young people from across the UK, including over 7,500 from Shropshire alone, in the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) ‘Make Your Mark’ campaign. Continue reading “Minster invites Shropshire MYPs to talks after mental health tops Youth Parliament Commons debate”

Is Halloween fun or a problem?

I get differing reports about Ludlow residents’ experience of Halloween. Many people love it. Others find trick and treating disturbing.

Guy Fawkes night has faded somewhat here and few people burn a guy anyone. Festivities have moved towards Halloween. A few years back, I used to love being in Los Angeles at Halloween. Kids and adults created incredible displays in their gardens, full of witches, warlocks and ghouls. Trick and treat was strictly controlled and pre-booked, but after all, this was Los Angeles.

In Ludlow, I get reports about trick and treat being aggressive. I know people who don’t open their doors on Halloween night. Some leave chocolates outside. Others grow frustrated at the repeated knocking and banging.

The tradition of bumming treats or a bit of cash is not new to our culture. In my boyhood we collected “a penny for the guy”. And yes, it was always me with my unkempt hair that was dressed up in rags to play the guy as I was wheeled around the streets of Northampton in a barrow.

To take a different tack on this, Lib Dem care and support minister Norman Lamb says today that “schizo-patient” Halloween costumes are stigmatising people with mental illnesses. He says:

“This Halloween culture is dangerous. It conditions all of us to fear mental illness – to see people as ‘psychos’, or ‘schizos’ or ‘freaks’. It makes us believe that mental illness is something other worldly.

I agree with this.

So is Halloween just great fun or a problem? I haven’t seen any schizo or psycho costumes in Ludlow. I hear reports of bad behaviour on Halloween, but is it just annoyance or more serious?

As always, let me know your views and experiences.