Steven was settled back at home. The High Court hearing was less than two months away. Would Hillingdon do anything at this late stage to put the mockers on things? Of course, they would.
I wrote earlier about the strange anonymous letter they claimed to receive from a "friend of the Neary family" that was threatening to the social worker and resulted in her going sick and missing the hearing.
A few weeks before the "letter", it had been Steven's birthday. Three days before his birthday, I had to attend one of the interminable meetings with all the professionals where they examined all the logs we were having to keep and suggested ways to improve the record keeping. The Unit manager asked me if we had anything planned for Steven's birthday. As it was his 21st, we'd arranged a trip to see Grease at the theatre and were having a small party the day after. There followed a short discussion about risk assessing the theatre (in case Steven got a bit difficult during Hopelessly Devoted To You).
The next day, the social worker phoned - could I go and see her urgently. When I arrived she announced that they had received an anonymous tip off that there were employment irregularities with the support agency. Rather than start an investigation, the management team had decided to cancel the contract with immediate effect. No support workers for the birthday weekend. No trip to Grease. No Pizza Hut. She then tried to get me to agree to taking on the agency that supply the staff for the Unit as replacements. There was no acknowledgement at all about how awful this would be for Steven - all of his trusted friends would disappear overnight, to be replaced by people who were around the previous, traumatic year. I said "no" and I was determined to get the guys (and the agency) reinstated. The social worker looked furious and said: "You've got to work with me on this one Mark". I left.
I phoned Amanda immediately I got home and as immigration is one of her expertise, she offered to meet all the guys at her chambers on the Monday morning with their passports and papers. Needless to say, everything was in order and she informed the council's legal department straight away. It took three more weeks for the council to reinstate the contract!
Steven did get to Grease. The guys offered to work for nothing, so as not to spoil Steven's birthday and when the contract was eventually reinstated I was able to backdate their pay for them.
An anonymous letter and an anonymous tip off in the space of two weeks. I don't believe it for one moment. It seemed totally engineered to discredit me as they knew I was about to be a litigant in person and to sabotage Steven's support, so they might get some last minute evidence of how challenging he can be.