ST EDMUNDS CHARITY
REFERRERS AND SERVICE USERS GUIDE
ST EDMUNDS COURT RESETTLEMENT PROJECT
87 & 110 CLEMENT ROYDS STREET
TELEPHONE: 01706 521448
FAX: 01706 868998
REGISTERED CHARITY NO: 1061509
REGISTERED IN ENGLAND NO: 3303543
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
We all have a need for positive, constructive change and personal development in our lives.
SEC offers a dry house facility for people who are coming to terms with a life without alcohol / substances.
This second stage house will cater for men and women in the intermediate stages of recovery who have identified the need for a safe, supportive, dry / clean environment – to enable them to identify and address their personal goals.
With the help of the staff and their peers, service users will learn to accept sobriety as a positive life choice – to form positive relationships – to develop personal self esteem via a personal housing support plan. Service users are encouraged to further their education, develop craft skills and new hobbies, undertake voluntary work (which could ultimately lead to financial independence) and practice their religious beliefs.
PROJECT AIMS & OBJECTIVES
The prime aim of the unit will be to empower the individual to maximise their full potential, by assisting them to plan an effective, positive and realistic personal resettlement plan, whilst continuing to live alcohol & substance free.
The supported flat scheme at St Edmunds Court has been designed to recognise the needs of people with alcohol / substance abuse problems on the edge of complete autonomy.
Recognising the need for a gradual diminution of supervision and control, the resettlement unit will assist the individual to develop an effective personal strategy for coping with major life changes.
The transitional period of moving from a residential care, or other structured living situation, into independent living is rarely smooth and continuous. For people already in the process of making the transition from drinking to a clean & sober lifestyle the additional transition of moving on indicates a highly intensified degree and rate of change. All major transitions involve high rates of stress, which have a direct impact upon the way people react, the way they feel and the way they behave.
Encountering major changes, many people experience adaptation problems during the transitional process, often resulting in crisis and relapse situations. It is therefore essential that adequate preparation be made to buffer service users at the pre-transitional stage.
Experience has shown that adequate and appropriate resources that offer support can do much to maximise successful integration into independent community living.
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
In order to ensure that our centres run to a high and consistent standard we have a number of policies and rules. These enable us to meet the needs of our service users & to fulfil legal requirements.
Our policies apply equally to all our service users and because of this certain responsibilities are placed upon service users to comply with these policies.
The main policies, which apply to everyone, are:
- SERVICE USERS RIGHTS
- EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES
- CONSULTATION AND COMMUNICATION
SERVICE USERS RIGHTS
Service users in our projects have the following rights:
* the right to receive support appropriate to their assessed needs.
* the right to be involved in deciding their best support plan.
* the right to have the support of the staff in assisting with this process.
* the right to have their confidentiality respected within the boundaries of the project confidentiality policy.
We are committed to providing a resettlement service for recovering alcoholics / substance abusers which is accessible to all persons who may need that service (subject to eligibility & availability). The project has defined aims which determine the service user’s needs.
The project works to an equal opportunities policy, which encompasses & incorporates the Race Relations Act, to ensure that staff and service users alike are welcoming to every member of the community. The aim of the policy is to make sure that any service user or prospective service user is not treated less favourably because of their race, colour, nationality, ethnic origin, sex, marital status, sexuality, age, HIV/AIDS, religious, political beliefs or trade union activity.
St Edmunds Court is located within a building which denies certain adaptations and therefore persons with serious mobility problems or breathing difficulties may be unable to access our project. Service users who may develop problems during their stay – making living at the project difficult – will be granted every assistance to find suitable alternative accommodation.
Every member of staff, service user and visitor is expected to follow this policy to make sure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity – so that everyone is made to feel comfortable living at the project. Behaviour or remarks, which are prejudicial or discriminatory against a service user, member of staff or visitor are unacceptable. Any harassment whether physical, verbal or suggested is unacceptable.
We have the right to end a service user’s right to stay in the project if they act in a threatening way to other service users, staff or visitors.
CONSULTATION AND COMMUNICATION
We shall notify all service users in the following circumstances:
Þ where changes need to be made to the licence agreement.
Þ if the charges have to change.
Þ if we need to undertake any major repairs.
We shall always try to give at least one month’s notice of any major changes.
We always welcome ideas and suggestions from service users – and these should
be made via a member of the project staff or through the service user group leader or deputy leader. Suggestions can also be placed in the suggestion box situated in the lower ground floor hall of 110 Clement Royds Street.
It is a service users right to make a complaint concerning conditions at the project or against a member of staff or other service users.
In most cases any grievance can be resolved within the project. However, it is the right of any service user to take a complaint further.
The procedure for making a complaint is displayed on the notice board in the lower ground floor hall of 110 Clement Royds Street – and a copy is within the service user’s induction pack.
In addition to the previously mentioned information, service users have the following general rights:
To be treated with dignity and respect by all members of staff, other
service users and visitors.
To live in a safe, stable environment.
To be listened to individually and as a group – to be involved in the day to day running of the project and for their opinions to be taken into account.
To see any documents that we produce about them.
ST. EDMUNDS COURT
The project is an extended support resettlement unit provided for men and women whose lives have been impaired by alcohol / substance misuse, who are now alcohol & substance free and who have an identified need for longer-term support to enable them to successfully return to independent community living.
The project is sited within a pair of period two storey flat conversion schemes opened by Neil Kinnock MP in 1987, which are centrally heated with community facilities. The buildings are located within easy reach of local amenities and Rochdale town centre and a short bus ride away from Hollingworth Lake Country Park and a short walk away from Healey Dell Nature Reserve.
St Edmunds Court offers 14 one bed roomed, comfortably furnished, self contained flats, all with fitted kitchen, bathroom & lounge. In the lower ground floor there is a large communal lounge & a study room with computer facilities & internet provided. There is also a combined well equipped communal kitchen / dining room and a separate laundry / utility room. In addition there is also a combined leisure room with pool table, music system & service user pay phone kios
PLEASE NOTE: It has not been possible to provide full disabled access. We are therefore unable to offer our service to people who would need the facility of a lift to individual accommodation.
THE RESETTLEMENT PROGRAMME
The programme has been tailored to encourage people to explore fully the wide range of independent living needs. This would include not only accommodation but also education, employment, recreational, vocational and inspirational needs.
On entering the project service users, assisted by staff, will be encouraged to draw up a Personal Housing Support Plan, the aim of which will be to identify the particular areas of advice and guidance which he / she would require to prepare for independent living.
In order to facilitate the above advice is available to service users such as:
~ Home hygiene
~ Use of time
~ Educational / employment advice centres
~ Health care
~ Voluntary work
Additional to the above service users are able to review their progress regularly with a staff member who will help each service user to update their housing support plan. Support plans will be internally monitored at regular intervals by the Project Manager and / or Principal.
SERVICE USER ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA
The resettlement project will be most suitable for men and women who have an identifiable need of longer-term support. These are probably people who, although tending to do well in the treatment units, are prone to relapse when they move to independent living. They would be persons who require housing related support & who may have, for example:
~ spent time in a homeless situation
~ have little or no family support
~ have had little or no experience of practical and emotional stability
~ have been unemployed for long periods of time
Prospective service users would need to:
~ Be eligible to claim Housing Benefit .
~ Be completely alcohol and substance free for a minimum of thirteen weeks before admission (6 weeks before an assessment can be carried out .
~ Have a commitment to ongoing sobriet.
~ Be willing to sign a Licence Agreement, which includes an agreement to maintain total abstinence throughout their stay
~ Be willing to action a Housing Support Plan
We accept referrals from any source BUT all prospective service users are required to undergo an assessment by a member of the project staff and prospective service users will be required to attend one Service Users House Meeting prior to being offered accommodation at St Edmunds Court.
Referrals can be made by telephone, in person or in writing to the project.
It is also possible to arrange an informal visit to the project if required.
Service users are assessed by housing benefit for their entitlement.
Service users retain the whole of their DWP benefit entitlement but are then responsible for the financial upkeep of their flat as in utilities, rent contribution (if any), council tax (less any entitlement to council tax support), food and personal living requirements.
Help will be available in all the above areas from staff.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY
- On entry, the service user will be required to sign the Licence Agreement and have been alcohol & substance free for a minimum of thirteen weeks.
- Be aged over 21 years.
3. For most people who have chosen to stop drinking / abusing substances, the need for some time in a safe environment is very important. Safety in this context means an alcohol and substance free environment, and because of this St Edmunds Court operates a strict dry / clean rule. Service users who drink or abuse drugs will be asked to leave immediately. If the staff suspect that a service user might be drinking or using unprescribed drugs (or abusing prescribed medication) – or immediately that an incident is discovered – the staff may be required to search your flat. This may feel harsh – but you need to understand that the safety and well being of all your fellow service users has to take the highest priority. If you feel safe you will be able to work on your sobriety needs.
During their stay and prior to moving on, service users will be encouraged to become part of external / community support groups. There is also a service user self help group held weekly on Fridays at St Edmunds Court and ex service users are welcome to attend after they leave our accommodation based service. Ex service users who attend this group must continue to be alcohol & substance free and could be subject to testing.
If you require any further information please contact us. Or alternatively if you would like to arrange a visit to the project the staff will be happy to receive you.
Please note we are included on NACRO’s EASI DATABASE (Easily Accessible Service Information), which is used by the Probation Service in England and Wales when assisting offenders with resettlement issues. We are also included on NACRO’s resettlement service finder (go to rsfinder.info on the internet).
We can accommodate recovering alcoholics / substance abusers upon their release from prison, subject to there being a flat available for them (which cannot be guaranteed to anybody) and subject to the following conditions:
As with any other prospective service users, prisoners are required to undergo an assessment and they must be six weeks alcohol & substance free before they can have an assessment. It is preferable that the assessment is undertaken at the premises, St Edmunds Court, in order that the prospective service user can view the project. All prospective service users must be alcohol & substance free for thirteen weeks before they can be offered accommodation at St Edmunds Court.
If taking up a residency at St Edmunds Court as a newly released ex prisoner then the newly released ex prisoner must be receiving some sort of support / back up from a probation service or be in regular contact with another relevant agency.
Whilst serving a custodial sentence the prospective service user must have attended an alcohol / substance awareness education course.
Please also note that we cannot usually accommodate convicted arsonists or convicted serious sex offenders.