PRESS STATEMENT BY NEW BURNLEY YOUTH MP, CONNOR WOLD (15):
When I was announced as the new Youth MP for Burnley I had a real feeling of excitement, but I knew there was a lot of hard work needed in order to help the young people here. I’m still studying at Visions Learning Trust in Burnley but I want to ensure I put in the time to live up to the challenges this role presents.
One of my first aims is to raise awareness of youth mental health in Lancashire. There are many reasons for this, the main one being because of my sister, Chloe Wold.
Chloe has been out of Education for four years and is now on Suicide watch. I believe this is as a result of the failings of Lancashire County Council’s Inclusion and Disability Support Service (LCC-IDSS) team. Between the age of 12 and 14 all professionals working with Chloe recommended a Special School but LCC-IDSS refused this request.
I see them as responsible for Chloe’s mental health decline. Had they listened to the professionals several years ago Chloe would now be a happy seventeen year old, looking forward to university life. Instead she is self-harming and currently on hunger strike, awaiting a placement at a psychiatric treatment centre.
Since the age of 12 Chloe has been passed from pillar to post – her needs have never been met, and her condition has deteriorated. She needs a lot of work to undo the damage done to her.
During the recent debate on Autism in Parliament, on July 17th, Preston MP Mark Hendrick, under the direction of Lancashire County Council’s IDSS team, announced Chloe’s name four times in Parliament, which of course was televised. That evening Chloe’s condition deteriorated further – she self-harmed following the debate and ended up in A&E. No one from LCC-IDSS has even apologised to Chloe or our family about this incident which is quite appalling.
My sister is on borrowed time. I want my first achievement as Burnley Youth MP to hold those people in Lancashire County Council accountable. I’ve recently been working with KWADE – Kids with Autism Demand Education – and they will be presenting over 50 cases of neglect and negligence towards autistic children to new Education Secretary Nikki Morgan later in September. Chloe’s case is one of this initial batch of 50 cases.
I will not stop until I get my sister back.