Phoenix Chief Exec Karen Biggs describes how we have created our latest Therapeutic Community environment
In 2017 we launched our Confident about Recovery Strategy with a commitment to lead the way in residential treatment provision. In Scotland this meant finding a new home for our service...
Our Scottish Residential Sevrice had been in our previous building for 25 years. It holds a very dear place in our heart. For thousands of people it's where their recovery began. However our landlord agreed with us that the environment needed upgrade but the design and layout of the building meant it would be impossible to make the changes we wanted to.
We wanted a fully accessible building. We wanted our facilities to reflect the needs and wants of our service users. We wanted the standards of our design to show how much we respected the people that come to us for help. We wanted them to feel at home. We wanted our TC community to be part of a wider community like anyone in society.
In April 2018 we bought a new house and spent 3 months renovating it.
The structure and design of the building has been left untouched but of course we wanted to redecorate our new home.
We took decisions about the furniture, the design, and the colour scheme that ensured the environment we created made it welcoming and relaxing.
Current residents preferences were crucial to the design, they were wholly responsible for choosing the wallpaper and the colour schemes. That has made sure the service has a personality that reflects the people who will use them.
The welcome house has a calming entrance and vibrant lounge. This is people's first experience of the TC. It's where they will do their detox and start to get used to the routine and structure of the house.
Our female residents enjoyed choosing the design and colour scheme for their flat. The men took a slightly different approach but no less stylish or creative.
With a lot of paint and some really clever floor design we have created a community room that really is the heart of the house.
The purpose built kitchen is the domain of the kitchen department. All residents take part in running the house, the department structure allows people to develop new skills and feel part of a team, they take responsibility for getting things done and it means we can keep our house clean tidy and working like clockwork.
And so you don't disturb the kitchen crew in their work, around the building are plenty of kitchen spaces that allow us to make tea and coffee through the day.
We changed the lighting bringing warmth to the sitting areas and light to those parts of the building where the serious work happens.
We have tried to avoid signs that tell people not to do things. We don't want our house to look like an institution, because it isn't, so we have been a bit imaginative in how we indicate what is in each room and where we place the signs.
We love our new house, we think it reflects the care and concern we have for our residents and we think it sets the standard that everyone should expect.
We know how hard it is to achieve confidence in recovery, we are committed to helping anyone that wants to try and we think that our Scottish Residential Service gives everyone the very best start to their recovery.