By Miro Griffiths
As described by his family, "Connor Sparrowhawk was a fit and healthy young man, who loved buses, London, Eddie Stobart and speaking his mind. He was known as LB online, short for Laughing Boy."
On the 19 March 2013, he was admitted to Slade House Assessment and Treatment Unit run by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust in order to be assessed for support.
Devastatingly, after #107days in the unit, he drowned in the bath on 4th July 2013. An entirely preventable death as an investigation showed; furthermore, it found no family involvement in his assessment and care, no effective clinical leadership and no proper attempts to engage the teenager in activities.
His mother said: "We thought it [the unit] was safe. Connor lived at home with us for 18 years - 107 days in that place and he was gone."
Twelve months later #107days seeks to inspire, collate and share positive actions being taken to support #JusticeforLB and other young people in need of support.
We want to harness the energy, support and outrage that has emerged in response to LB's death and ensure that lasting changes and improvements are made.
Day 104, 1st July 2014:
For In Control, we have adopted Day 104 for our 23rd Children's Residential 'Every challenge is an opportunity' because it is vital that we remember why we are working towards change and we must turn words/idea/feelings into positive action.
We are all aware that personalisation does not just refer to personal budgets, it is about working with people to ensure they have choice and control over their life and their needs met in the best possible way. I agree with what Neil Crowther said about Connor's tragic death, "In my view what was overlooked were Connor's human rights - his right to be regarded as equal in dignity and worth, his right to life, his right to be supported in the community, his right to flourish."
That is what we need to work towards, and personalisation can help us achieve that. We need to work together, we need to be open, we need to be honest with ourselves, our services we work in and the people we support.
Everybody at this week's event agrees and supports all the principles and concepts that make up the foundations of why this residential exists and what it wants to promote, but as a society we failed a fellow human being.
We can use the next two days to learn, to move forward in a direction where all of us play our part to ensure this doesn't happen again and we find ways to improve how we support children, young people and their families.
On day one of the residential, two parents, Nikki Delgarno, mum of Ethan, and Tricia, mum of Ella and Cieran, shared a powerful story of the challenges of the system and the resilience needed to keep going. The slides and the audio from the presentation can be viewed here. As suggested by JusticeforLB, we will also be asking all 100 plus attendees to commit to taking one action which will make a difference for children and young people they know.