Alf has lived in a lot of places in his life
When he was 15 he lived with his family
He worked as a telegram boy and delivered telegrams
He enjoyed his job and was good at it
Once a woman asked him to stay for supper – so he did!
His Mum sometimes worried he stayed out too long!
One day Alf had an accident with a Canadian lorry
He was taken home to get better
After that he had bad nerves for a while
He doesn’t have nerves now!
Because of his nerves his Mum and Dad took him on a train to
Great Barr hospital in 1947
Alf was scared
Alf did not like Great Barr
He was the youngest person there
He was locked in – it was like a prison
He didn’t go outside very often
There wasn’t anything to do
He couldn’t go outside by himself
He had to sweep and clean a lot
The staff were not very nice
The staff pushed people around sometimes
They said Alf was a voluntary patient
But Alf didn’t want to be there!
He only got to go home for his birthday
At Great Barr Alf made a friend called John
John was a patient and couldn’t walk
John helped Alf write letters
Alf can write his own letters now!
He lived at Great Barr for two years
Alf is glad he doesn’t live in place like that any more
Alf doesn’t think anyone should have to live in places like that
After that he went to Holly Meadows
Holly Meadows was a bit nicer
He could go outside but didn’t have a room of his own
Then after three years Alf moved to Ridgeway
Alf still didn’t have a room of his own
But he helped the nurses make the hospital beds
Alf was very good at the corners!
The nurses said he was very good!
After fourteen years Alf moved out of Ridgeway
He moved into a place of his own
Alf has now lived in his own house for fifteen years
He really likes his life now and having a place of his own
He likes the people who support him
He has a TV in his room, and a spare one!
He likes Coronation Street and The Bill
He has a DVD of The Bill he really likes
He has learnt to play the organ
The Salvation Army taught him “Count Your Blessings” when he was 44!
Alf goes out all the time now
He goes to a tea dance and a healing church
And he likes to cook for the people he lives with</