Tuesday 1 November 2022

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished, Mrs Debenham...

An NHS mental health specialist who took in a Ukrainian refugee was reported for modern day slavery after she asked her guest to help out more with the dishes.
Hannah Debenham, 42, of Uckfield, East Sussex, was under investigation for two months following the accusation, before the case was dropped this week when no evidence was found.

Predictably, the police insisted they'd done nothing wrong: 

Detective Chief Inspector Gavin Patch, of Sussex Police, defended his force's action today, telling MailOnline the investigation was 'expedited as quickly as possible', adding that it takes any report of slavery 'very seriously'.

And when you look beyond the screaming headlines in the 'Mail', perhaps they were half-right: 

Ms Debenham's saga began when she and her husband, who also works in the NHS, were looking for an au pair to work in their eight-bedroom home.

So, not a case where someone sees the 'plight' of a refugee on the tv at all and...wait.

An eight bedroom house? For two NHS workers?  

They stumbled upon the profile of a Ukrainian woman in her 30s who claimed she was also an English teacher, and reached out to her to see if she would be a good fit. According to Ms Debenham, they came to an agreement that would allow the teacher and her ten-year-old daughter to stay with them on the basis that she would perform babysitting duties for two to three days a week, for which she would be paid £200. Ms Debenham filled out the paperwork via the Homes for Ukraine scheme, which she said was accepted 'remarkably quickly'.

So Mrs Debenham decided to get herself a house servant on the cheap. But it seems the servant had ideas above her station. Deciding she was more of a guest, and less of a worker...  

The mothers then had an argument after Ms Debenham was unable to drive her guest to an appointment as she was working from home.

The plot thickens! 

'She slammed the door on me', Ms Debenham recalled, 'and I just thought: "Wow, how could she treat me this way?"
'I had driven her to so many doctors and benefits appointments, but I explained to her that she just had to respect that I work and cannot always be available to drive her.'

I'm beginning to wish we could send both sets to Ukraine, by now. I'm not as forgiving as Longrider.

'So now whenever I see a Ukrainian flag in this country I can’t help but feel anger for the people who have no gratitude, no care and no respect for people like me who was naïve and thought I could make this world a better place if I helped by inviting them to live in our home.'

You know what, Mrs Debenham? That's exactly how I feel about NHS 'workers' who play the system... 


MTG1 said...

A couple of months ago, responding to the government scheme, my neighbour took in a couple from the Ukraine. Sadly, there are odd signs that 'all is not well'. Some rainy evenings, the Ukrainians are to be seen just standing under my lychgate. Surprised initially, I now expect to see them whenever my drive gates open. We simply exchange smiles as I pass through. It's all a tad peculiar but doubtless the pair have been under considerable pressure...and remain so. I have sympathy for war refugees and a plight which is difficult to fully comprehend by those who have not experienced the trauma.

JuliaM said...

"I have sympathy for war refugees and a plight which is difficult to fully comprehend by those who have not experienced the trauma."

Me too, but I suspect not all of the Ukrainian 'refugees' are kosher. But isn't it inevitable when the government decides it must 'do something ' quickly?