Monthly news, views and updates from across Phoenix We are Gold
We are delighted to announce that in the recent re-assessment of our Investors in People award, Phoenix Futures have achieved the highest standard, Gold IIP status. This major achievement evidences the passion our staff and volunteers have to want to be the very best at what they do. We believe above all else it is our people who will empower and inspire our service users to achieve the best for themselves in the future.
regard as a real strength. Every possible learning resource is provided including learning from On Friday 14th and 21st March we held a Creative Recovery each other. group on the Jubilee Wing at People are genuinely encouraged HMP Pentonville, to create artwork for the walls to be innovative and they are of the Family Support Services empowered to try new things. Senior managers are very visible office in the Visitor’s Centre. and are role models for leadership. Participants were given A3 white People have a real pride in the paper and invited to create services they provide. pictures depicting what Recovery means to them, using pictures, There are very high levels of performance across all aspects of symbols, images and words. Some of the areas of good practice highlighted during the assessment were: the organisation including financial, stakeholder satisfaction The pieces of art were created with coloured pencils and pens, and service user outcomes. The content of the Phoenix vision and and also incorporated pictures and values is very firmly communicated and words from magazines. For Even though we have been provides a common purpose. inspirational reading during the There is a real commitment to being the recognised as amongst the very group, a number of books on the best through people in the organisation best by Investors in People, we and an understanding of the value this will continue to strive to be better theme of Recovery were available. adds to service users and commissioners. in order to help create brighter Most of the finished work is now futures for our service users. The workforce is diverse which people displayed as a collective on the Partnership Working wall of the FSS office, adding a much-needed splash of colour and personality to the room.
Following the successful completion of the merger between Foundation66 and Phoenix Futures on 31 March 2014, we look forward to working together to continue to provide essential services. “This is a fantastic opportunity to provide ever more connected services for the people we support. As the only provider that can link up residential, prison, community and housing services we are delighted to be able to extend
our integrated approach to the London and South East through this merger” - Karen Biggs, Phoenix Futures Chief Executive For more information about the history of Phoenix Futures go to http://www.phoenix-futures. org.uk/about-us/our40-years-of-experience/ Look out for more news and updates coming soon!
The other pictures will be displayed in the Jubilee wing group room for a few weeks before returning to the FSS office. Thank you to all who took part and contributed their creative efforts. Josie Standbrook, HMP Pentonville Family Support Worker
Going the extra mile for local dogs across the Wirral
Park House’s Football Tournament
Service users and staff from Phoenix’s Wirral Residential and Trafford Community services, along with their families, will be taking part in the Wirral coastal walk on 11th May 2014.
Friday 28th March was the first ever partnership cup between Phoenix Futures (Park House) The walk is in aid of sporting and and Start Again CIC. Start Again raising money for local Wirral have been doing tremendous charity; Friends of Birkenhead Kennels, a local council run dog pound work in the community with individuals from a wide range of for stray and unwanted dogs. The backgrounds to promote charity recently received terrible news recovery through fitness and that the council wants to close the engagement. kennels following essential cutbacks, and instead proposed joining a They are particularly passionate consortium in Liverpool leaving The Wirral without a stray/lost dog facility. about football and offer qualifications to train people to In response the charity immediately become football coaches. After a started a petition and handed in an long relationship playing football alternative proposal to the council which, involves the charity running the every week together with service users, Dean Morrall with Start Again kennels in partnership with them to decided to hold this event to achieve massive savings. They publicise their work together, which managed to get over 7,500 signatures together in just over a week, saw 10 different organisations play against each other including our the proposal was accepted and fellow Phoenix Futures Birmingham following this the partnership came services, New Leaf (Supported into effect in April 2014. Housing), SIFA Fireside (Homeless alcohol service) and Midland Heart Although this is a great result for the (Housing Provider). There were also charity, it increases the need for stalls and free food donated through fundraising! Want to find out more about taking part, or to donate to this the efforts of peer mentor, Wayne. great cause? The day was great fun, with a huge turnout of players and supporters, http://www.wirralcoastalwalk. and also a celebrity - Karen Carney org/ women’s England international and current Birmingham city player Helen Brewin, Service Manager presenting our trophies. Alas we Trafford Navigation & Recovery didn’t get to take a trophy home Services ourselves. It was also a great opportunity for our new peer mentors to get in-
volved and they did a sterling job. The residents also had a fantastic day, with some choosing to watch and others part of the team. Darren, one of our residents and team players gives his views on the day: “I’ve been at Park House now for 3 weeks and last Friday there was a football tournament which I was picked for. The day was really amazing. Everybody there was really friendly. There was some stalls there to help people like me with addiction which has really helped my recovery. The day was fantastic and it was run to perfection by Dean who did a great job. The food was out of this world, looked like some really hard work went into the day. My team managed to get to the semi finals, we were very unlucky not to win it. I really want to thank Dean and all the staff that put there efforts into the day. I also think the day bought ex-addicts together and made us bond even more. I really think there should be more days like this as it was one of my best days I’ve ever had. Thanks again to everyone who took part”. Stuart Bates, Start Again Birmingham
Best of Both Sides
The day had arrived, all the planning completed, the Mother’s Day Tea Party. Clients arrived early laden down by their offerings for the event. This was not just a Tea Party, there was a cake competition as well, one only to be rivalled by the Great British Bake Off. The usual mugs were put aside, this was to be a cups and saucers do - a bit of a Mrs Bouquet event, with cup in hand and the little finger bent at the right angle. Each of the clients had invited a guest, a partner, a parent or a friend to share the occasion. While the judging of the cake competition was conducted by Bim from PHE, it was time for a quiz. The questions went on and to say that the teams were competitive would be an understatement, the banter was incessant, as each accused the others of cheating in the nicest possible way. The camaraderie shown by the clients was evident that as a group they respected one another and were willing to offer peer support to each.
Creative Recovery Easter Cards
On the 16th April we set up a Creative Recovery card making session on Jubilee Wing at HMP Pentonville, the drug-free unit. There was a great turn out and a number of participants actively took truffles, carrot cake, cupcakes, even part in making Easter cards for their families. jaffa cakes though the packaging gave away that they Card making in itself is a weren’t homemade. therapeutic process, a handmade As we sat round finishing off our creation where drawing, decorating and writing can mean tea and cakes a voice across the so much to loved ones. A room asked “How did your community of creative ideas partner’s drinking affect you?” sparked on the landing: many starting what one can only used integrated photos of loved describe as a frank and open ones with glitter haberdashery, conversation, both sides of the iconic stamps and thematic story. “I used to hate it when origami. Phoenix Futures’ passion you visited because it meant I for recovery was reflected in the had to share my drink with you.” prisoners’ shared experience of “Nobody guessed I was drinking because I used Listerene” “Oh yes strengthening family bonds whilst we did,” and so the conversation in recovery. went on with both sides “Making a card is better than appreciating comments which buying a card because they can backed up their thoughts while gaining a greater understanding of see you put more effort into it.” Mr. Dunne how it affected the other. As the party was wound up each were presented with a bunch of flowers to take away and thanked for their hard work in making it such a success. We must do it again sometime soon, not with all the competitions but just to chat over a cuppa, both sides of the story.
With the quiz over it was time to find out who had been awarded the golden rosette for best in show. The Champion Cake had been chosen, the Blueberry Andrew Hovell with Lemon, a masterpiece. We soon Administrator, Phoenix + discovered there were many masterpieces as the cakes were sliced for NORCAS us all to try. There were macaroons,
“It was nice to see all these big, hard men turn into little boys with some glue and glitter.” - Mr. Fallows “It was a great experience to be making an Easter card for my lovely 4 year old son and should do it throughout the prison system because it’s thought that counts.” - Mr. Nuet Rebecca Marsh Sophie Vloothuis Jamie Wong HMP Pentonville
Service User Qualification Update
I am now taking back service user qualifications as Stuart Plant has now moved on to a new role with the Marketing and Communications Department. I plan to develop new qualifications and will be working closely with services to ensure the subjects we cover are relevant and practical to deliver. I will also like to look at offering higher level (level 3) qualifications. Meanwhile Stuart has joined the Marketing and Communications Department as the Service User Involvement Manager. He will be setting up and working with Service User groups around the country, enabling them to have more of a say around the decisions that affect their recovery. Stuart will be missed by all in the Learning and Department. Alison Royal, Learning and Development Officer
Pentonville (Building Futures) Peer Supporters Scheme My name is Liam Daniels and as the Building Futures Peer Support and Mentoring Rep Lead, I am extremely pleased and inspired by the hard work and dedication of the Phoenix Futures Peer Supporters and the work that they achieve. They play a crucial role in the success and development of the service that Building Futures provides at HMP Pentonville and are a great example and testament to the fact that CHANGE IS POSSIBLE! We have had Peer Supporters chair SMART Recovery meetings, complete the Mentoring Skills Qualification (an equivalent to a NVQ Level 2 which is nationally recognised), co-facilitate various Phoenix group packages with our staff, be involved in the recruitment process of new Phoenix staff, facilitate inductions for new receptions into the prison and provide feedback at the monthly Drug Strategy meetings just to name a few. For me personally it has been great to see and be apart of the solution in helping individuals to better themselves and build strong foundations for their personal road to recovery.
Supporters on ‘why they do what they do’. Here are the results: • To give motivation and encouragement to other users. • To help others and give back to those who are struggling. • To keep others safe and bring positive changes. • I enjoy it – it makes me feel good about myself. • To let people know that recovery is possible. • I get satisfaction and enjoyment from seeing others in recovery and playing a part in that recovery. • To give others guidance. • It is sometimes about talking to others and supporting them so they do not use. • Peer support gives me direction in my own life and I want to use these skills to help others and myself for the future. • It is helping others to stay positive. • Helping others to recognise that they are on a recovery journey. • I love helping others. • It feels good to be in a trusted and responsible role.
I wanted to find out what were the If anyone reading this would like influential factors and drivers behind the Peer Supporters passion to know more about the Peer and commitment in the service they Supporter Scheme or the Building Futures service, then provide so I arranged for my dedicated team of Peer Support Reps please email us at to facilitate a series of brainstorming buildingfutures.pentonville@ hmps.gsi.gov.uk exercises where they quizzed Peer
Network is Evolving
On Saturday10th May at our Wirral Residential Service - get yourself along for what will be a terrific Recovery Gig in aid of the this year’s sailing voyage, loads of live music, fun and games, don’t miss it! James Armstrong, Head of Marketing and Communications
In our never ending attempts to improve communications our internal communications will begin to go through changes to help share news, best practice and other information around the organisation.
Communications Officer, will be taking over production of the newsletter from next month. One of the changes she has already set into motion has been the appointment of ‘Comms Champions’, who will feedback concerns or share ideas to help shape what people around the organisation want from internal communications.
In next month’s edition look out for the request for feedback about our newsletter, ideas you may have seen incorporated elsewhere that you think could be beneficial here at Courtney Allen, Marketing Phoenix Futures. and Communications Officer Deborah Mackay, our new Internal