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My life

Elizabeth Harkness

I'm 58 and I have had a very interesting life. I went to school and was kicked out, then got back in, then moved to another school.

On March 8th 1961, I went into Higham Hall, a medium sized institution - a school for girls with learning difficulties, in the Lake District. I left when I was 18 - argued my way out of Dovenby Hospital, which was a large residential institution and went home to my family. I was looked after by my grandparents and lived with all the family together.

Later on I went to a residential home with 30 other people 60 miles from home, so that I could move into a new home nearer home ... How complicated?! I had alcoholic people stealing my dinner and had my first experiences of day centres.

When I moved back to my home town I stayed in a residential home for a while before going south to get some independence training - more homes, more day centres! I moved back and had a series of homes where I was able to be more independent.

I'm now living in a supported living scheme, and I'm very happy there - now all I have to do is get back the inheritance, which has been stolen from me!

Let me tell you the story of my life!!!

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About the Group

If you woud like to get in touch with the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group, please contact:

Liz Tilley 
Chair of the Social History of Learning Disability (SHLD) Research Group
School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes

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