Alf’s life story, as told to Jaime Gill

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


Alf complained!


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</

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