Issue 28

Rob C Retires from UFG and Shop

It is with some sadness that we say goodbye to Rob, expert by experience, service user rep, advocate and friend. Rob is well known to many of us in Caswell Clinic as the man who runs the user friendly shop, organises religious services, and campaigns for us to support access to church services outside the clinic. He has also set up a Caswell User Friendly website and for many years was the closest we had to a patient advocacy service. Rob has befriended many a Caswell patient in need, encouraging them with his wisdom and the honest and open sharing of his own experiences and journey through the secure care system. Rob has been a role model for many who have journeyed through the clinic. He has been a 'critical friend' to staff and managers: pointing out some of our shortcomings, challenging us to develop a more service user-friendly model of care, and to develop user-led activities.

Rob has been a tireless supporter of Caswell Clinic. He has met and shared his views with senior civil servants and NHS managers, contributing to the Strategic Review of Secure Services. Always independently minded, he refused to be persuaded by the political correctness of the voluntary agencies who tried to influence his opinions.

Typical of Rob, he came to see a few of us quietly one afternoon recently to say he was going to reduce the time he spends at the clinic and was dusting off his fishing tackle to start a more gentle and less demanding way of life. He will still call in and will help with organising access to spiritual activities. He has not really given us time to organise a proper 'retirement do'. But Rob underestimates us if he thinks we shan't mark his departure with a celebration of his contribution to Caswell Clinic.

So good luck Rob. Thanks for everything you have done for us, staff and patients alike. Enjoy your retirement, and come back for a visit anytime.

Ruth B