Memories of Meanwood
Meanwood Park Hospital is due to close and for many people who are moving out during its final year, the hospital has been their home for most of their lives.
People seem to have mixed feelings about leaving the hospital. Some are afraid of the changes ahead and of losing the security the hospital has given them. Some are looking forward to living in their new home with their friends. Some people seem not to mind what happens next, perhaps because it is hard, having lived in the hospital for so long, to know what to think about living in the community.
Some people like to talk about what it has been like to live at Meanwood Park Hospital over the years, while others don’t like to dwell on it. For some, the overriding memories are of the time they first went into the hospital, a time they remember as frightening, a time of loss. Others remember the good times, dances they went to, staff they were particularly fond of.
Whatever people think of their stay at Meanwood Park Hospital and whatever their feelings about the future, the hospital has been central to their lives and needs to be recognised as such. This booklet is a way, for those who want it, of preserving some of the memories from the past, a snapshot of how life used to be. It also records how the hospital is now, at the time of leaving it. The blank pages are for people to put in their own pictures perhaps their own special memories of friends, staff and buildings, and perhaps a record of the start of their new life in their new home.
As well as a way of remembering the part of their life spent living in, and moving away from the hospital, the booklet is also a way of wishing every resident a happy and successful life in the future.
Barry Cowperthwaite, Leeds Advocacy
Produced by the Memories Group by Heather Ford and Kristina Van Geet of the Resettlement Team Meanwood Park hospital with funding from Leeds Leeds Health Authority 1996.