Copies of letters between Harry Marsh of Contact a Family and Bob Breen, ADDept.
24th January 2000
Dear Mr Breen
Your Behaviour Towards Contact A Family Staff
I am writing this letter, following my phone call to you on Friday morning to ask you in the
strongest possible terms not to be aggressive or verbally abusive to the staff at Contact a
Family when you telephone or when you have any other contact.
I pointed out to you over the phone that for the second time now you have seriously upset
members of our staff without any justification whatsoever. The two members of staff involved
tried to explain to you that the person you wished to speak to was not here and they were met
with an aggressive response from you.
When I rang you to raise the matter you were dismissive and said tbat our staff would just
have to become tougher. This is not acceptable. Unless I have a written assurance from you
that you will treat the staff of Contact a Family reasonably and fairly (and most certainly
without verbal abuse) then you will not be welcome at any Contact a Family meeting and we
will not receive phone calls from you.
I understand that your request was that we at Contact a Family should atrange a venue for you
to have a meeting with some other organisations. That is not something that we are willing to
do. We do not feel it appropriate for CaF or the Alliance to become involved in local disputes
or complaints, particularly where we are not in possession of all the facts from all the parties concerned.
I await your written assurance and provided that it is forthcoming within the next few days we
will send you papers for the next meeting of the Alliance Advisory Committee. If it is not
forthcoming then you will not be invited to our meetings.
ADDept Yorkshire ADHD &
Learning Abitity Support Group
Mr Harry Marsh
Contact a Family
25 January 2000
Dear Mr Marsh
Received your letter 3 minutes ago dated 24 January 1999 of which I will be sending copies to our
ADHD volunteer supporters UK with whom I have had the pleasure of working with for some years.
After reading it carefully I feel bound to advise you that the contents are not factual. I trust I am forgiven
for finding your accusations hostile, judgmental and offensive. And in particular when much of your
accusations are hearsay. Condemning someone, then slamming the phone down on them as you did,
with me and without giving me the opportunity to respond, is at the very least, discourteous. Like my
fellows, I take comfort in truth and do not respond to intimidating ultimatums as you lay down in your
I made it quite clear to your colleague who answered the phone that my dissatisfaction was with Carroll
Youngs taking a frustrating length of time to get back to me on the phone regarding a somewhat urgent
request effecting the potential welfare of our families. Also my concern was for our volunteer supporter
Dinah Dodds who is adversely affected by having to climb lots of stairs. I trust your telephone
receptionist will confirm that I clearly stated to her that my dissatisfaction was not with her personally.
It's a great pity CaF can't take a legitimate and constructive complaint in a friendly manner and without
As you can see I refute your allegation, and will be asking our ADHD volunteer supporters to bring this
matter to the attention at our next 1O February meeting. I am responding promptly to your letter, not out
of fear of your ultimatum, but out of concern that any other of our members may receive the same hostile
treatment should they have cause to express similar dissatisfaction.
Thanking you for your attention and looking forward to our next meeting
Bob Breen (Chair/founder of ADDept )
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