Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Renfrew, Scotland: Rhondda Morris
Rhondda, 40, says: ‘I’ve known Andrew since he was a baby and it’s hard to accept that we won’t see him again. There are fights between gangs here all the time.
‘My eight-year-old son and I saw a man being killed outside our door by a youth who was full of drink and drugs. I never want to witness something like that again and I don’t want my children subjected to this terrible violence.
‘I’ve joined Mums’ Army because I am terrified something will happen to my sons. The fights have to be stopped before someone else dies.'
Ilminster, Somerset: Nicci Court
Nicci, 26, says: ‘Their language was awful and I didn’t want my children to witness me being verbally abused.
‘Antisocial behaviour and drugs are slowly creeping in here. Used needles have been found in the nature reserve and I am afraid for my children as they start to grow up.
‘It’s hard to tackle these problems on your own and that’s why I’ve joined Mums’ Army. I hope to bring the community together and to work with the council and police to make our area a better place to live.’
Tel: 07915 312711
Faversham, Kent: Tracy Ashworth
And how did the police respond?
An officer told her: ‘That is most inadvisable. Do not do it. It’s too dangerous.’
The officer also said: ‘Do not go out after dark and stay away from your windows.’
Mother of two, Tracy, 34, says: ‘I was astonished when the police told me not to join Mums’ Army. I am rejecting their advice. It’s time someone stood up and did something. We cannot just live in abject fear.
‘In the past year the problems in this area have spiralled out of control. Almost every day my family are threatened and abused by troublemakers who are known by the police but allowed to get away with it.
‘My eight-year-old daughter has been verbally abused and spat at in our own garden, and my 14-year-old daughter was attacked in the local park. I was spat on at our front door and assaulted inside my house. We are not safe anywhere.
‘The police tell me to document antisocial behaviour — I have pages and pages of it. But instead of them taking action, they tell us not to go out after dark. It seems that even the authorities are scared to come here — it’s nicknamed Beirut.
‘It feels that I'll only get some reaction from the police if these thugs smash my house up or put me in hospital.
‘I joined Mums’ Army because I refuse to live like this any more. I can’t get any support from the authorities so we have no choice but to stand together and force them to take action.’
Tel: 07852 364915
Gillingham, Kent: Donna Still
Among all our other achievements, we have now inspired TV’s latest hit series, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard. It's the story of an ordinary family woman who trounces the politicians and takes power as Prime Minister.
The character, played by Jane Horrocks, is typical of so many of our Mums’ Army supporters.
The BBC’s Daily Politics show invited one dedicated campaigner, Donna Still, of Gillingham, Kent, to take part in their programme, and reporter Giles Dilnot told viewers: ‘If you think politics is the preserve of those who were destined from their prams to be professional politicians, you may find this story inspiring.
‘Back in January, we talked to Donna Still, of Mums’ Army. It’s reminiscent of The Amazing Mrs Pritchard — but it’s real life.’
Donna explained how hard she's campaigning for her local neighbourhood and that she's determined to get on the council.
She said: ‘The trouble with the current politicians is that they lead such a privileged life and I don’t think they’re on the same level as normal people.’
That's the view of thousands of our supporters. Mums’ Army has hundreds of Mrs Pritchards. We hope to make an impact at the 2007 local elections.
Penclawdd, Swansea: Sandy Shepheard
'She says: ‘When I read about Take a Break’s Mums’ Army I called the Hotline straight away.
‘I have a mentally handicapped daughter who is constantly mocked and my son has been physically attacked. I keep going to the police but nothing is done. I can’t understand why they’re not helping.
‘My children are prisoners in their own home because of these of yobs. I feel sorry for young people who have nothing to occupy them, but it’s not fair that they bully others. We need the Government to provide more facilities to get them off the streets - and to make their parents accountable for their actions.
‘I hope and pray that Mums’ Army can make a difference.’
Tel: 07999 841005
Redditch, Worcestershire: Kate Brookes
Paul’s wife Kate, of Redditch, Worcestershire, contacted Mums’ Army to say: ‘After your report Paul felt strong enough to visit the shops. When he came home he was covered in yellow powder paint, although unaware of it. A policeman came to see us but what could he do? Paul was cross more than anything.
'Please keep up the campaign. I'm terrified as to what could happen one day.’
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Hull, East Yorkshire: Donna Mingham
Mother of three, Donna, 35, of the Ings Road Estate, Hull, contacted Mums’ Army and said: ‘Over the three years that I’ve lived here the situation has got worse. The police have provided extra patrols but it's still terrible and I’m not going to sit back and put up with it.
‘Last year my eight-year-old daughter was threatened with a knife and then told that she would be burnt alive in a shed. She is still having nightmares. And the police claimed there was nothing they could do without proof.
There is drinking and fighting almost every night and gangs vandalise our property, throw beer cans at us and shout abuse. We can’t go out and we can’t sleep. People here have had enough and are being forced to move away. There are more houses empty and boarded up than there are lived in.
‘I’ve joined Mums’ Army because I’m hoping that if people stand up to these thugs, at last something will be done about this problem.’
Hull, East Yorkshire
Mottingham, Greater London: Shennet Debbey
Shennet, of Mottingham, Greater London, says: ‘My 24-year-old son was hit with a bottle and my 15-year-old was attacked by the same gang.
‘I’m not saying my sons are angels but because there is nothing here for young people to do, they’re forced to hang around the local shops, which is where the trouble happens.
‘There is a lovely community here and there are some good kids who are being tarred with the same brush as the yobs. They are bored and they need more opportunities.
‘I’m a single mum and I work full time, but I want to do something. I'm contacting Mums’ Army because I refuse to live in fear any longer.
‘I hope I’ll be able to unite mothers and form a parenting support group so we can improve our neighbourhood and help our children.’
Mottingham, Greater London
Holywell, Flintshire: Tracy Stephens
Tracy, 44, of Holywell, Flintshire, contacted Mums’ Army and said: ‘My garden was wrecked, I was subjected to abuse and it wasn’t safe for my children to leave the house.
‘We fled to a refuge and then we were housed in another town for a fresh start. But from day one we suffered from behaviour worse than that which we’d escaped. Gangs of up to 20 yobs threw stones at the windows and doors every day. It went on for three years. We had no choice but to move again when my son and I were threatened by teenage street gangsters. It was terrifying.
‘We suffered for eight years and had to move four times before we finally found peace. Now I want to join Mums’ Army to put all that I have experienced to good use.’
Tel: 07731 637822
Barlanark, Glasgow: Liz Wilkie
A mother of four, Liz, 38, says: ‘I’m sick of this behaviour and want to see the law changed. My husband has had to clean excrement and urine off our back door and six-year-old boys have smashed up our car.
‘My neighbours and I regularly have to call the police and the fire brigade because kids start fires on our propery, setting our bins and trees alight. The firemen have to put out the fires while kids jeer them — where are the police? They tell us our problems are not a priority and because of this attitude the kids know they can get away with anything. We back Mums’ Army. Things must change.’