St Leonards Childrens Home

cathy fox blog on child abuse

The purpose of this article is two fold. The first is to is shine a bit of a spotlight on the abuse at St Leonards Childrens Home. The second is to publish some more police corruption relevant to child abuse and this will come in the second half of the article.

St Leonards was a childrens home in Hornchurch Essex around 1950 until 1985, when it was closed down. It was run for part of this time by Tower Hamlets Borough of London. It was also known as Cottage Homes as it was divided into separate homes of about 30 children looked after by two house parents.

Much of the information in this post is from Paul Connolly’s first book in his autobiography Against All Odds[1] from 2010. The second book Beating the Odds was published in 2014[2]. For reviews see Goodreads [7]. Paul is now…

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Real DPO fends off POhWER bid after mayor’s intervention

Original post from Disabled Go News


A local disabled people’s organisation (DPO) has succeeded in fending off a national charity that was trying to use its financial might to take over a contract to provide support to users of direct payments.

The future of Real in Tower Hamlets, east London, had been at risk after the local authority awarded the contract to the charity POhWER.

Real had been providing support to disabled people in the borough for eight years, and a survey of its service-users found 100 per cent agreed they had been given helpful information and support on direct payments.

Following protests from disabled people in Tower Hamlets, the council’s overview and scrutiny committee voted unanimously last September to ask the elected mayor, Lutfur Rahman, to reconsider the decision to award the new contract to POhWER.

He agreed to do so and decided that the council should re-tender for the contract. In the meantime, Real’s contract has been extended.

Since he made that decision, Rahman has been removed from power by an election court, although he is appealing against the court’s judgment.

Disability News Service (DNS) reported last year that POhWER had won the £354,000 a year contract by under-cutting its competitors with a bid of £199,000, even though Real scored the highest of all seven bidders on “quality”.

Nine of Real’s 16 staff are disabled people, as are more than 70 per cent of the team who deliver the direct payments support service.

POhWER has an annual turnover of nearly £10 million a year and “unrestricted reserves” of £850,000, and delivers services to about 60 local authorities across England. Four of its nine trustees are disabled people.

National policy documents stress the importance of services delivered by local, user-led organisations, and Real was backed in its fight by other DPOs, including Inclusion London and Disability Rights UK.

Mike Smith, Real’s chief executive and the former disability commissioner at the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: “I can’t comment on the specifics of this, to ensure Real doesn’t fall foul of anti-competition law in any future re-tendering.

“But I can say that I’m very relieved that we can now get on with the day job – delivering a great locally-delivered service for local residents, run and controlled by local disabled people.

“It’s great to be focusing our attention on things that really matter, like our Democracy Conference and mayoral hustings event on 1 June, where we will have loads of local disabled people quizzing the new mayoral candidates.”

Neither Tower Hamlets council nor POhWER were able to comment in time for the DNS deadline.

News provided by John Pring at


Hi I’m Aden, I work at DisabledGo as the Digital Marketing Manager and I manage the blog and all social media channels.

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