Friday, 28 May 2010

'Brave little Amy....'

Long term benefit from Conductive Education

Relying solely upon memory, it was in the latter part of 1986 or, at the very latest, early in 1987 that the Leamington Spa Courier ran the headline 'Brave Amy off behind Iron Curtain'. Even at the time, this headline seemed to stand as a type for the tone and focus of local press coverage that was sweeping the United Kingdom.

Standing up for Joe had been shown on the BBC on 1 April 1986 and, even before the very cold winter that followed, individual families were alread upping stakes and taking their cerebrally palsied children off into the dark unknown of what was then Eastern Europe.They had to dig deep into their own pockets to do so but most were buoyed up by the spontaneous generosity of their local communities. Their local media, print and broadcast, played a vital role in these events. RACE (Rapid Action for Conductive Education), what by had verty quickly become a national action group with its sights on making the importation of Conductive Education a policy priority for national government and  had sprung from informal comings together of parents from Coventry and neighbouring town In those early days, Coventry and Warwickshire were the national hot-bed for the fresh and vigorous conductive movement. (I suppose that this hot bed was in fact the origin of that movement worldwide.)

Long Itchington is a small village outside Royal Leamington Spa, which is in turn a town outside Coventry.. The Clennell family were amongst those early pioneers who took themselves and their child to Budapest, hence that local newspaper story and its epitomising headline all those years ago. 'Brave Amy' was six-year-old Amy Clennell.

The Iron Curtain is no longer with us but the Leamington Spa Courier is still extant (unlike many other local newspapers of its time). In a town like Leamington, I can well believe that its staff may not have changed much over the last twenty-odd years but, even if some individuals have passed on, its house-style persists.

Unlike the Iron Curtain 'Brave Amy' is certainly still with us, though – as far as her local newspaper is concerned – she is now 'Positive Amy'.

Read the story in this week's edition of the Leamington Spa Courrier to see something of what she has done over the last last twenty-four years:

– (2010) Positive Amy is living the dream, Leamington Spa Courier, 27 May

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