Start Over for October at HMP Garth

node leader
12 November 2015

“It showed me that there is a different route.” HMP Garth Service User

During the month of October, the Discover Service at HMP Garth had a theme of ‘Start Over for October’ to encourage and motivate service users to make positive changes to their lives.

Phoenix Futures deliver Building Futures and Therapeutic Communities (TC) services in HMP Garth. Working in partnership with GMW NHS Trust, the Building Futures team provide support for men in custody who have drug and alcohol problems. The TCs are specially designed to provide support and bring about positive change by focusing on building social relationships and using structured days and activities to help TC residents to support each other in their recovery.

For 'Start Over for October', group sessions across Building Futures and community seminars on the TC focused on areas where service users wanted to make changes, as well as understanding the process of change, and relapse prevention. At the start of the month, TC residents were asked to commit to making a positive lifestyle change for a month, with a view to then maintaining this positive change. This could have been anything from stopping smoking, to regaining family ties, or managing their money better.

Throughout October the service timetable was jam-packed, with a number of very generous guests visiting the Recovery Wing and the TC to speak to service users; all came with the aim of provoking thought and discussion around making positive lifestyle changes. TC residents took part in mindfulness sessions to encourage them to manage their thoughts positively by focusing their awareness on the present moment, engaged with yoga, took part in circuit and weight lifting groups, and enjoyed visits from their loved ones.

To celebrate the progress made, an ex-TC resident who now works at Phoenix Futures’ Wirral Residential Service, spoke to residents about his journey through recovery and gave hope and inspiration to our current service users, with one TC resident commenting: “that’s where I want to be in a few years’ time.”

It is testament to the hard work of the staff and volunteers that they achieved so much in such a short space of time. Hopefully, Start Over for October has encouraged change that will be maintained for a long time to come. Thank you to all the Discover staff who worked tirelessly to make this happen.

For more information our our Building Futures and Therapeutic Communities visit our services pages here.

Phoenix Futures is a registered charity in England and Wales (No 284880) and in Scotland (No SCO39008); Company Limited by Guarantee Number 1626869; Registered Provider of Social Housing with Homes England (H3795).