TAC Bulletin Special – Issue Number 322 – August 2023

In Mind – a written monument


This is collection of short pieces by Peter Limbrick is about people of all ages who have learning disabilities and about the conditions they experience in any country. The collection spans the period from the1970s, coinciding with the gradual closure of some of the big 'mental handicap hospitals' in the UK.

The poetry and prose pieces are offered as a monument to adults and children who have lived and died or are living now in inhuman situations. Please use them if you wish so that this ‘monument’ gets noticed in as many places as possible. Make reference to 'In Mind' in your social networks if you can.

They are written from different points of view and in a variety of voices including that of a mother (number 37), a mental handicap nurse (24), a bereaved father (38), a schoolgirl volunteer (20), a paediatrician (46) and an art therapist (3).

The first piece, ‘Letter’, from an imaginary therapy manager to a national newspaper and the last piece, ‘In Mind’, set the context for the whole collection. They are offered here as an introduction:


1. Letter


This is my first ever letter to national newspaper. I want to raise a

topic that I have not seen aired in any paper or on television.

I manage a children’s therapy department in a London hospital and

I meet a lot of families whose baby or young child has some

degree of brain damage. The children often have cerebral palsy

and might also have learning difficulties, sight loss and hearing loss.

We help children develop and at the same time try to support

parents to become confident in bringing up their children.

            Not many years ago, children like this might have been put into

institutions. This still happens in many countries but in the UK we

believe children are better staying with their families. This move

from institutional care has coincided with progress in medical

technology so that more brain-damaged children survive.

            It is my view that in closing institutions we have won only half

the battle because we have put many families under severe stress.

Some parents struggle to care for their child - becoming

exhausted, sleep-deprived and socially isolated. Keeping a job and

going on holiday can become impossible. Parental relationships

often reach breaking point. All of this impacts on the mental

health of parents, siblings and sometimes grandparents.

            No one wants to see children back in institutions. But I feel the

social reform is not complete until we can give effective support

to families̶̶̶, support that recognises the rights of the child and

family to the best possible quality of life. The UK has closed most

of the institutions but not yet made effective family support

generally available. There is a lot of work still to do.


50. In Mind


Countless people have

lived and died,

are now living and dying,

in institutions around the



Babies, children, adults, old



Even outside those


intellectual disability,

mental handicap,

being simple or defective

can mean a tough

existence with everything

to be afraid of


- a hard life struggling

without respect or


dependent entirely on the

kindness of others,

having no way to make

hopes and dreams come



My fellow human beings,

I must keep them in mind.


The poems and prose pieces are in five sets:

In Mind - a written monument to all people with intellectual disability. (Items 1 to 10)

In Mind - a written monument to all people with intellectual disability. (Items 11 to 20)

In Mind - a written monument to all people with intellectual disability. (Items 21 to 30)

In Mind - a written monument to all people with intellectual disability. (Items 31 to 40)

In Mind - a written monument to all people with intellectual disability. (Items 41 to 50)


 one 2 one pic2
















Image by Nick Bantock from the One-to-One book.

Editor: Peter Limbrick  -   About this TAC Bulletin

External links are not validated and we advise you to research before sending off any material, money or information to any organisation.

Peter Limbrick, Editor, Interconnections, UK.

Tel/fax: (+44) 01497 831550

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Web: www.tacinterconnections.com

share your information  Cartoon © Martina Jirankova-Limbrick 2011