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Issue 17

Network Monthly news, views and updates from across Phoenix Highly Commended Apprentice

Our first ever apprentice at Phoenix Futures, Courtney Allen was honoured to be recognised as a Highly Commended finalist at the National Apprenticeship Awards London Regional finals in September. The event was held at London’s City Hall and presented by Tim Campbell MBE, who many will remember as the winner of the first series of BBC’s The Apprentice. Courtney, who now works as a Marketing officer in the Marketing and Communications Department, lost out on the night to Ryan Long, an apprentice at BT Openreach who will now go on to represent London in the National finals at Birmingham’s NEC on the 14th November 2013. Courtney said; “It’s an honour to be highly commended and recognised for my work with Phoenix Futures and it feels great to haved pushed a legacy apprentice employer like BT to the wire.”

James Middleton wins ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Award

For the second year in a row, Phoenix Futures was nominated for a category at the Third Sector Excellence Awards. Last year we were delighted to receive the Best Employer Award which recognised the organisation’s commitment to our staff.

table erupted in cheers. There was lots of emotion as James went to collect his award; a very proud moment to all;

“It was really rewarding to receive the Best Employer award last year, but to have our volunteers recognised in this way is very very special and reflects This year we were really pleased that the important role peer support our volunteer, James Middleton from plays within the work we do.” said Karen Biggs, Chief Executive Phoenix Futures Wirral Residential at Phoenix Futures. “I am Service, was nominated for particularly proud that Jimmy volunteer of the year. James is has received this award, he is already a winner at Phoenix, his a great example of the best of passion and commitment to his Phoenix and a fantastic role work has been recognised as he has progressed from service user, to model for others.” volunteer, and now to trainee drug worker at the same service that once It was also an incredibly proud moment for James as well who helped him. said; By the time the results were “I am overwhelmed at being announced at the Third Sector recognised for doing something Awards that took place last night in London, there were lots of nerves I whole heartedly believe in. It around the table. We were told that was a lovely shock and an absolutely honour to receive a the entries into the category were so high this year that they were also Third Sector Excellence award. A awarding High Commendations to great end to my journey as a service user and a great the runners up. When the winner beginning to my journey as a was announced and James’ name and photo came on screen the whole professional.”

Dry January

Winning ‘Volunteer of the Year’ Karen Biggs….who all looked fantastic by the way.

Last month Vicky Holdsworth, from our Marketing and Communications team attended a ‘Dry January’ event, part of a campaign being run by Alcohol Concern. The event was hosted in the ‘Hoxton Pony’ in London, usually a bar on a Tuesday night; they had transformed the area into an alcohol free zone serving delicious tea infused ‘mock’tails that were a big hit with the guests. The aim of the event was to promote the campaign and get as many people as possible signing up to committing to a month of no alcohol in January, as well as encouraging them to spread the word about the campaign to their friends, family and colleagues. “It was an intriguing event” says Vicky. “We heard lots of information on how to get involved in Dry January and an inspiring story from someone, currently working for Alcohol Concern, who is half way through a year of no alcohol on behalf of the campaign and says he is feeling great”. You can find out more information and download a free guide about how to get involved in Dry January 2014 by visiting the Alcohol Concern’s website at http://www.alcoholconcern.

There were a few awards before mine and they were all met with polite yet heartfelt applause and then my name was read out as the winner and our table turned into a Phoenix explosion! I have never been so proud of myself, my colleagues, residents at the Wirral and this fantastic organisation that I am honoured to now work for. For me it shows just what loyalty, hard work and dedication can bring, as of course my real reward is the fact I work for such a great company, full of such amazing people who deliver so many different services so well. However after finding out what a big Massive thank you to the Wirral staff deal the awards are, coupled with team for mentoring me, Lyndsay my competitive nature it was game Hague and Nicola Owen for on!!!! believing in me, Phoenix Futures for giving me a chance and Heather for I was overwhelmed by messages of encouraging me to stick at it.” support from all across the organisation and ex service users. James Middleton, Trainee The night itself was amazing and it Therapeutic Wiorker made it even more special to have my girlfriend Heather there, as without her support my 18 months as a volunteer would have been financially impossible. “When I was informed I’d been nominated for volunteer of the year by Vicky I was flattered but not that excited, as I did not come back to the Wirral as a volunteer worker to win awards, but to try and help people through a difficult time as I was helped myself.

Sam Holden from RR Donnellys also made the journey to London to cheer me on which made me proud. Also in support I had Lyndsay Hague, Di Hilton, James Morrison, Gareth Edwards and from Central Office Vicky Holdsworth and the big cheese Phoenix gets FIT August saw the first meeting of happen. What’s more the first proposal has our new Fundraising and Innovation Team (FIT). This new received financial support. This is a film project in Leicester that will group will be responsible for encouraging innovation around engage service users in acting, Phoenix in order to continuously editing, filming and promoting an improve the service we can offer educational film about addiction. our service users, their families The group will also be picking a and the wider communities we winner for a new innovation award work in. for the 2014 New Year Honours The group will also look at how best awards. to create new funds through You’ll find details on how to submit community fundraising activities. your innovative idea for support from the group on Connect as well To get started a pot of funds has been created to help people around as details on how to apply to join the organisation to make their ideas the group.

What does Phoenix Mean to you? What are our shared values? Is there a shared Phoenix identity? What do we want to achieve in the years ahead? These are just some of the questions that twenty members of staff have been discussing in two session held in London and Sheffield.

Sharing our success in Europe “On the17th September, 11 dedicated Phoenix Futures staff jetted off to Prague to attend and present at the European Federation of Therapeutic Communities conference (EFTC). After conquering initial difficulties; extended plane journeys, lost luggage and room mix-ups, everyone arrived and settled in in good spirits. Phoenix were proud to be in attendance and this year had a significant physical presence as well as featuring heavily in the conference programme. The team were to present various seminars over the course of the conference. Within these we demonstrated how we have reinvigorated our TCs in the UK and the positive impact this has had upon Phoenix and its service users. Our Recovery through Nature programme held a significant place within the conference which certainly took European interest.

surrounding current and future TC treatment. In addition, time was spent evaluating international research ideas presented by teams examining the TC model and its effectiveness. The Phoenix contingency did manage to escape the hotel for a night and were invited to spend their final evening at the formal conference dinner in the picturesque city centre of Prague. We were excited to hear we would be sampling the delicacies of Czech food, however, when it came to it, were not overly enthralled by the roast beef and squirty cream concoction that was served! Despite this, we spent a wonderful evening reminiscing about the conference and chatting with some of the great magnates of the TC world.

In all, it was an eye-opening and interesting conference and one we were proud to be a significant part of. We hope we We were honoured to take up 3 workshop places during the conference were able to provide food for thought to our European TC where we were able to share family. We have certainly taken development trends in the UK and our away some thoughts and specific approaches surrounding ‘recovery focused practice’, ‘virtual rehab practices that can be incorporated into our day to day working that days’, and our ‘voyage of recovery’. will increase our effectiveness and develop the impact our treatment During the conference, other European has on our service users.” services presented their approaches to TC design and method within their countries and highlighted their personal Laura Williamson, Researcher thoughts

At the end of August and early September representatives from services across England got together to reflect on our shared Vision, Mission and Values. Both sessions were lively debates as we got to grips with defining what we do, why we do it and how we do it. The findings from the sessions along with input from our service users and other stakeholders will help inform our next three year Corporate Strategy which will start in 2014. Health and Safety Corner

Please check out the updated format for our Health and Safety policies in our brand new policy manual! With the winter approaching, have a look at the new ‘Extreme Weather’ policy. H&S Road shows are coming up in the North East, Trafford and the Midlands later this year. They will be run for all Gold and White Hats and will deal with the new policy manual and the recent changes to the Health and Safety structure. Ruby Newton, Quality Officer

Phoenix People

In September we launched Phoenix People, recognising and celebrating the achievements, commitment and dedication of our staff, and their teams, throughout Phoenix Futures. Ten individuals from a mix of roles and services throughout the organisation were chosen as representatives, to emphasise the passion and commitment of all those that work for Phoenix. If you haven’t had a chance already, please take some time out to watch and listen to their stories on our website at

Birmingham 10th Birthday Celebrations Birmingham Community Rehabilitation Service (CRS) celebrated 10 years of supporting individuals to develop the skills to deal with and overcome substance misuse in a safe community environment.

House Residential Centre in 2010 and the Community Health Champions project in 2012.

In 2012/13 100% of service users completed the programme with 71% gaining a qualification, training or Launched in September 2003, the employment. The service has service initially provided for Class A won an impressive 10 awards uk/phoenix-people/ drug users however over the last 10 over the last 10 years for their contribution to recovery in years the service has evolved to This will also be used to represent our provide for people with a range of Birmingham. organisation to potential new drug and alcohol problems. The employees, providing them with an Team Manager Dilruba Kazi service has also become more idea of who Phoenix is as an employer flexible to meet the changing needs “We’re really proud to have and the kind of people that work for of people in Birmingham and now reached this milestone, many of us. our service users have moved on provides a range of additional support including conservation and to abstinence from their problematic drug of choice, music projects, sports groups and Phoenix Forest Planting Day gained qualifications and qualifications designed to help employment and are enjoying people into employment. full and meaningful lives.” You are invited to join us at our third Annual Planting Day of the Phoenix Phoenix Futures have also developed The 10th Anniversary Forest. Each tree planted celebrates the a range of services, as a result of Celebration took place at The recovery of a Phoenix Futures service the CRS programme, such as the user in the past year. The Planting will Community Engagement Outreach Mac Arts Centre, Cannon Hill take place on Friday 22nd November, Service in 2005, the Offending Users Park, Birmingham, B12 9QH on 11am-3pm, St Albans, Hertfordshire. Rehabilitation Service in 2009, Park Friday 27th September Re:Cover Update lucky nine people who had been We were delighted to selected to take part. receive nearly 60 applicants for Re:Cover, Phoenix Futures Recovery Music Project by the We are currently informing the nine so keep a look out on closing date of the 20th project page September. A judging panel of five representatives with a passion for music and recovery met on Thursday 26th September to choose those uk/recover to find who will be taking part and the next steps for the project…

The Network - Issue 17  
The Network - Issue 17  

News and views from around the organisation.