Scene from a London Underground station

The following piece was sent to us by a British Transport Police officer. Names have been changed to protect confidentiality.

I met Lucy whilst escorting football fans through the London transport network. Lucy, amidst the noise and confusion of an Underground station, was curled up in a corner at the bottom of escalators in a crisis of sensory overload.

Lucy though that no one cared about her, not even her parents who thought she was a disappointment, that someone with an IQ in the top 2% of the population worked on a farm with animals.

Lucy explained to me that she went to university and studied creative writing and literature, but didn’t manage to complete her final year and felt that she was a failure.

After I reassured her and calmed her down with the assistance of station staff, Lucy waited in the staff canteen, with her headphones on until the crowds of football fans and rush hour traffic had passed before completing her journey.

Lucy – as I said to you at the time, you’ve achieved so much and the fact that you got to university is an achievement that you should be proud of.

You don’t have to keep saying sorry and you certainly don’t need to thank me. I’m glad to have meet you today – my little boy might be you in 16 years’ time, and I’d hope someone would look out for him if he was in your situation.