How reputations are made: Edward and the butter knife

Edward was the first person C-Change ever supported. He had moved several times over previous few years, as place after place said ‘no, he can’t live here, we can’t ‘manage’ his behaviour.’

He moved from the Assessment and Treatment Unit (ATU) into his own wee home, in the East End of Glasgow in 2001. He had been involved in recruiting his team. For the sake of continuity, he continued getting ‘day support’ on a 2:1 basis from another organisation that had been supporting him in the ATU.

He had been in his house less than 2 months. At the end of a multidisciplinary meeting I was attending, the Head of the Complex Needs team said, ‘I hear one of your guys has stabbed someone with a bread knife.’

Err, news to me! I checked in with colleagues. Yes, there had been an incident at Edwards home.

There are however, at least two versions of the story.

Version 1.

Two day support workers arrived. Edward’s team member left him finishing his breakfast. It was a lovely day and the day support workers had plans to go to Strathclyde Park. Edward was taking a long time to finishing his toast, so they started physically assisting him. Edward became ‘non-compliant’. He lifted a knife and threatened them. They left and called the police. Two police cars turned up, sirens sounding. When the police entered Edward’s home, he was sitting finishing his breakfast.

Version 2.

Edward was enjoying his breakfast, relaxing and taking his time. Two day support workers arrived, they had plans to go the Strathclyde Park. Edward didn’t want to go to the park. He found it difficult to say no to people, but he told them by eating his toast slower and slower. They did not listen. They started pulling him up from the table. He shouted at them and lifted the butter knife off his plate. They left and phoned the police. Two police cars turned up, sirens sounding. When the police entered Edward’s home, he was sitting finishing his breakfast. People in the street wondered why the police were at their new neighbour’s house. He seemed such a nice man.

In memory of Edward, the gentleman who always called me ‘my darling.’

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