Sunday, April 15, 2007

A rant - NCT - charity or not ?

The NCT claims to be for everyone, but never have I come across a 'charity' which discriminates so much against low income and for want of a better word 'under priviliged ' families. I used to attend our local NCT toddler group, but we rarely were able to take part in the 'activities' as they refused to take into account those families without a car ( or with only one car which Dad took to work!) , on the one occasion that an event was arranged within walking distance, it was cancelled at the last minute. Rather than have someone at the pre arranged meeting point to tell everyone that it was cancelled, they positioned someone in the carpark. Those of us ( three families) who had walked stood at the meeting point for half an hour. Finally we managed to get one of the comittee to answer their phone, only to be told' Oh we are all back at the hall. Kettles on , its only ten minutes away' .. well yes if you have a car it is, if you are walking its over half an hour away.

They charge an appaling amount for their antenatal classes. Because, or so I was informed by one commitee member, ' we don't want all the council estate scum, do we' Err Hello ! I am a council house tenant, living on the very council estate where you hold your toddler group !! So am I 'council estate scum '? Well apparently so !!

I could tell many similar stories, sadly not just of discrimination against low income families, one day a lady and her son arrived at the group. They were totally ignored by the 'committee', at 'biscuit ' time teehy all left the hall, leaving the poor woman sat there looking lost. I was there that day selling cloth nappies not as a member. It was me who explained, and showed her where to go. I even tried to get one of the committee to look after her, and was rewarded by a glare, which encompassed the poor woman. The fact that the poor lady had only been in the UK for three days was not a factor of course was it ? She had come over from India, to be with her husband who was working in a well known local financial institution. We left together, she was almost in tears. It was not a language barrier that caused the problem, she spoke perfect English ( better than me, sadly I have turned into a yokel living in the wess coontree!) I firmly believe that there was only one reason for her ill treatment :(

The end for me came when I was asked by our GP to talk to a mum with a child who had an NGT. She told me of how she had rung the group to find out details, only once they found out about the NGT she was told that it would maybe not be a good idea for her to go, as ' the other children may be frightened by the tube' WTF ? I mean honestly FFS kids do not scared of tubes, parents teach them to notice differences, parents teach them that differences are to be scared about. Kids of that age ( under threes) are innocent .

Do not even lets go down the road of the committee members who would drag their sick, listless and often feverish child out int he cold, to sit in a church hall, spreading their germs around, so mum would not miss out on her weekly bitching session !! I would watch these poor little mites, and you could see that all they wanted was to be home, tucked up on the sofa with a cool drink and Cbeebies on TV.

Shall I continue with the bitching I overheard one day when one mum commented to aher little gang ' Oh My God, she dressed him in that outfit last week, do you think shes too poor ?' WTF ??? OK maybe she always put him in 'those' clothes because she didnt mind if they got mucky. Or maybe she particuarly liked that outfit ! Really were they seriously expecting the other mum to have a new outfit for her son EVERY week ? Actually in my expereince og the NCT, yes they probably did !!!

I hoped that it is just our local group that behaved in this way, but having heard stories from around the country I am not convinced .

Charity ? Not on your Nelly !!