Stories from Napier as the last 13 leave the Barracks
Today the last 13 residents left Napier Barracks. This is a tremendous relief – they have been through a lot – but still, we will miss the friends we have made.
Over the last six weeks, since their Covid isolation ended, we’ve been meeting up and going on walks. The residents told us yesterday that being outside has made them feel much more positive. It’s been such a difference since the first week, now we just see big smiles on their faces. They’re so happy to be outdoors and doing normal things again. One day we went down to the beach and had a mini picnic with hot soup.
On our walk yesterday we went through a farmyard where lambs and piglets had just been born. One guy is studying animal sciences and wants to become a vet so seeing these farm animals reminded him of a better future that may now be possible.
We’d love to think there won’t be any new residents arriving, but for now, the government seem set on their plan to move new people in. It’s so hard to believe given the mountain of evidence that has emerged over just how bad the barracks are.
However, if new people do arrive we’re planning to run a drop-in centre. There will be a local chaplain, clothing, hot drinks, activities and volunteers to signpost them to lawyers and other resources.
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