I’d like to thank Leanne Easthope for her time here and share her story in her words.
It’s candid, it’s provocative so consider this a Trigger Warning and proceed at your discretion.
Lu: Leanne, as always a pleasure to talk to you however this time its not as lighthearted… can you talk me through what happened?
LE: So you know I’m having my bathroom refitted so it’s been quite difficult needing to get washed at my dad’s house for 2 weeks. But its one of them things I guess.
Lu: Right? They did my kitchen and bathroom at the same time a couple of years back and it was a pain during the whole episode!
LE: On Sunday, 2 of my 3 children escaped from my dads back garden. I quickly realised and ran out after them but the police had already been flagged down by bystanders.
The police put my kids in a car together and refused to let me near them. I had a wall of 6 police officers infront of me, shouting at me, not letting me talk.
My daughter, who is non-verbal started to attack her brother also non-verbal in their car, I was not allowed to help, they would not listen regardless of their special needs so my son continued to get attacked until they got another car for him to sit in.
Lu: How long was this going on for?
LE: 2 hours, Lu! Dad and I were spoken to like dirt, we were patronised, humiliated and shouted at.
It was horrific, my children at this point had no one to advocate for them.
I contacted the social services myself, I wanted my children out of the cars and properly cared for.
They wouldn’t take the children to their dad’s because they said it was too far.
Lu: but letting your daughter and son sit in a car for 2 hours is ok? Right…
LE: Eventually, the social workers came out who were absolutely lovely and agreed it was OK for the children to come home.
The police weren’t happy about this so they have decided to proceed and have said they are not happy for my children to return home after respite, they said I have no bathroom (it was being refitted) and no electricity (absolute lie, I have electricity and always have done).
They have requested I volunteer to put my children into care. I will not be volunteering this, so I have told social services to proceed to the next level because I won’t be doing that.
I’m being open and honest with everyone because I have nothing to hide.
I have always been open because I have always wanted to highlight how the system is biased and can let you down massively, then blame you.
I will not take this lying down.
I am so sorry to everyone who’s been wrongly treated by the system, I truly understand what it’s like to be treated like dirt, for the right help to be held back from you. Then when things collapse we get the blame, when some of us were set up to fail.
My heart is broken right now, my children need me and I know how to care for them better than anyone.
I hate every single emotion happening right now.
Lu: I can’t even begin to process the words to respond to each thing you raised…
LE: It gets worse, before being asked to voluntarily sign the 2 children to care my 3rd child was fine to be here. After refusing they saw concerns to remove him to his dad’s too!
I’ve been sat home alone because apparently I’m not capable of looking after anyone, even though I’ve been a single mother for 7 years.
Took my kids on holiday, gained a Degree and kept a happy family together with no support up until 11 months ago.
Which still wasn’t enough, for the System.
All 3 of my kids are severely disabled, on Monday I was told by social services I failed my children.
I have not failed my children, I am the only person that has not failed them.
I have stood strong and fought for them through every hurdle.
Not only have I done a brilliant job in advocating for their needs, I have done it without needing special treatment.
Because I should be their soldier, I’m their mum!
But Monday? I was told I have failed.
The children’s 2 carers, who for 11 months gave supported at home, have been absolutely brilliant. And have advocated for not only my children but me too through this.
And I’m very lucky for that.
But if the system thinks I’ll give up its wrong.
Without my kids I’d rather die, but before I give up…
I’ll give everything I have, and I’ll do absolutely anything to get enough money for a brilliant solicitor and to fight this.
I’ve got nothing to lose, so before I kill myself, I’ll exhaust everything inside of me.
The interview ended here as I had to 1. Stop crying and 2. Talk Leanne out of even contemplating ending her life.
“I’ll give everything I have, and I’ll do absolutely anything to get enough money for a brilliant solicitor and to fight this.”
So with a little help from some friends we arranged this:
You can find the event HERE
TICKETS ARE £5 (Booking Fee applies) and can be purchased HERE