When I was a member of Oatlands Chapel and my daughters were in their early teens, I think, we had a light party on ‘all Hallows Eve’, Halloween instead. It was fun and we wore brightly coloured clothes to emphasise the theme of light and fun rather than the message of Trick or Treat, we have adopted from America. I even won the prize for the brightest clothes, as I used to have a multi-coloured cardigan! We never embraced the trick or treat idea by taking our girls out but we used to have stocks of biscuits and sweets in case we were visited when the girls were growing up. However now I find it intimidating so we put out our posters saying we do not want any callers and especially since we now have a porch we do not get disturbed. I think the alternative of the light party is far more fun and after all it is the day before All Saints Day, as All Hallows Eve means the eve of all Saints Day.
I am at present trying to sort out my accumulated possessions to recycle, give to charity shops and offer to those who need these items in my house of 32 years; both my husband of more than 14 years and I love to hoard so it is hard to part with things that might come in handy. Recently my daughter Beth gave a bed head to a young single mother who was almost camping out in her housing association house and I gave her a couple of tall stools just languishing in the loft. Beth also gave her a shelving unit, all through free cycle which operates in the Harrogate District. Even in a so-called wealthy town it stated in our local paper that 8.3% of children are living in poverty here! That is a disgrace when our average house price is £270,000! Harrogate rents are too high for those on low wages; yes there are a large number of low paid jobs in care homes, shops. Although unemployment seems low there are more seeking work than claim benefits; if you have a partner who works more than 24 hours a week you lose entitlement to any money after a year, although they do pay the national insurance stamp.
Help with preparing for applying for jobs by disability support, if like my friend you have a mental health problem, ended after 6 months. She has so far had a lot of interviews but no success with work, even part time, as she struggles to interview well; mostly she hears nothing afterwards. She wonders if the fact she in her late 30’s is more expensive to employ than younger people, that she has so far been unsuccessful. I try to encourage her. At least she is having work experience at a local charity shop, where she has often been left to her own devices, she is probably gaining more skills. She has qualified with ECDL level skills on the computer, so she has skills to offer. However she applying for any kind of job in retail, in kitchens, but is still being unsuccessful. More support is needed I am sure, but there are no local support for those with Asperger Syndrome; the centre in Leeds is currently full. More must be done to support the vulnerable in our society.