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Which services are Touchstones12 required to provide under its Supporting People contract?

Answer.

The Service Users' needs are identified and assessed through on-going monitoring and evaluation processes and documented in the assessment of needs made by the Support Workers will produce a support plan with the service user for the length of time they remain at the above premises. A change to a Service User's support needs may necessitate an increase or decrease in support services required. As responsible Service Provider we are required by regulation to be flexible in delivering services to meet assessed needs of the Service Users.

Is T12 a twelve-step project?

Answer.

Touchstones12 is not strictly a twelve step project. The project is not funded to be exclusively a twelve-step project. However, T12 will support those clients who choose to work their own step programme adjacent to other core activities that the project provides. Recovery involves all aspects of person's life including practical based solution focusing. Essentially not everyone attending the project will agree that the twelve steps is the right approach for them; alternatively some may choose other recovery based approaches which in no way will affect the core objectives of the project because abstinence is a main object.

Is the project religious based?

Answer.

No. The project is not religion based.  The project welcomes all people regardless of any religious beliefs. This project is committed to supporting equal opportunities for all residents. Touchstones12 is not rooted in any form religion. We welcome both spiritual believers and atheists with equal amounts of enthusiasm.

Is T12 a part of the AA or NA fellowship?

Answer.

No. T12 is not a part of or an extension of the fellowship. Touchstones12 is not a 12 step rehab. This project is not dependent on the understanding of higher powers and T12 do not provide sponsors for clients who choose to attend AA. However, the project will promote aspects of the 12 steps and the fellowships for those who choose to follow AA / NA.

What is the recovery programme at T12?

Answer.

Touchstones12 do not work directly with people who are using substances in fact we are working with people who chosen to be abstinent. Thereafter we are helping people to assess other areas of their lives. Touchstones12 introduce clients to the general principles of various recovery programmes. We believe that it is important for a client to make their own informed choices about their preferred course of recovery. It is based on service user consultation and we have appreciated the obvious that people are not the same. It is a notable fact that what works for one person in terms of recovery will not work for another – there is no one fits all solution. To explain this further, one person will eat a vegetarian diet as opposed to another person who will choose to eat a meat based diet; to confuse the situation more some will choose to eat both. Essentially many forms of diet have a nutritional value. For example according to reliable research both red meat and fish can be nutritiously rewarding, albeit in a different way. Likewise the road to recovery should be chosen and not force fed. The programme at T12 is more of a holistic approach giving people variety so they can make informed choices with regard to what is best for them.

What is the general gist of T12?

Answer.

Touchstones12 provide an abstinence based recovery project for individuals who are homeless – or - are at risk of becoming homeless as a result of being chemically dependent. Individuals wanting to enter the project must have a motivation to change their life in order to do well. Here at Touchstones12 we do not work with people who are drinking alcohol or using substances to a negative end.

What is the main aim of the project?

Answer.

The main aim of our particular programme of recovery is essentially to help people move towards achieving independent living skills. Further to complement this we give individuals the time and space to explore some of the underlying issues that go hand-in-hand with chemical dependency.

Are there any rules?

Answer.

Fortunately yes, rules keep people safe. There is a file in the main house that contains the 'House Rules' and a copy in your bedroom. Please ensure that you have read the rules to avoid any unnecessary issues. Please ask about anything that is confusing or that you are not certain about.

What if someone uses drugs or drinks alcohol – how will I be protected?

Answer.

T12 has a strict policy and those who are caught drinking or using drugs whilst attending the project will have to amicably leave the project. In all cases we try to be constructive and to help individuals. Unfortunately due to the nature of people who present with alcohol and drug dependency issues it is a fact that no project will be able prevent an individual from deceptively using substances. Sad fact, if clients' were all honest T12 would never have to test a client for substance usage period! But sadly denial, dishonesty and deception are all core character defects recognisable in people who have substance misuse issue. Essentially, residents' are all responsible for their own abstinence and albeit after the event will in fact leave the project at a point when sufficient evidence of substance usage has been established.

Will I be able to make my own choices?

Answer.

The project supports individuals aiming to help them to develop order in their lives. At T12 we empower clients to take responsibility, make their own choices and learn the importance of self-respect. Here at T12 we encourage clients to take 'ownership' of their own personal life plans.

Will I have my say at the project?

Answer

Service user consultation is a regular occurrence at the project. We hold weekly house meetings and circulate service improvement questionnaires to our residents on a monthly basis. Representatives from the house are invited to staff meetings to give constructive feedback. Further, we encourage service users to hold their own meetings and feedback any conclusions. At the top level we invite representatives to attend our Board meetings so they can discuss any issues with the Board of Trustees.

Will I have a project worker?

Answer.

Yes. Each resident will have their own project worker.

What are the staff like and will they understand my life issues?

Answer.

Members of staff are a mixed bag and they are individually liked for different reasons. Members of staff will not understand your personal life issues, but they will show empathy and listen. All of our members of staff have had extensive life issues which gives them the experience to carry out their role with a degree of confidence.

Is my key worker there for me when I want them?

Answer.

Project workers will be around most of the time, but each week you and your project worker will arrange a specific time for both of you to have a meeting (one-to-one). At all other times you can access your project worker if they are available. Otherwise you can access any member of staff who will try to assist you.

Can I change my project worker?

Answer.

Yes, but you will need to discuss the possibilities with the Senior Project Worker and provide a constructive reason for change.

What is included in the programme?

Answer.

As a central focus a needs assessment and support plan is discussed and drawn up serving as an agreement between the resident and the project. Throughout the duration of the programme a series of workshops are delivered in order to help individuals acquire essential life skills – providing creative sessions, careers groundwork, computer training, cooking/budgeting groups, life skills groups, recovery- based workshops. External sessions include voluntary work opportunities, linking in with multiple agencies to assist individuals with education/training, support networks and job development opportunities etc. A sound basis of honesty and morality is addressed mainly through personal commitment and key sessions. Core aims of our particular programme of recovery are to help individuals develop order in their lives.

What is the core objective of being here?

Answer.

Achieving independent living skills is the core objective at T12. The programme in general aims to empower and enable individuals so they can in time re-integrate back into community life. Many complex and mundane life issues are addressed in one-to-one key working sessions; and further addressed through the medium of group workshops. In key-working sessions staff will support individuals to work out their personal primary needs, such as move-on accommodation, personal life goals and supportive relationships/networks (such issues are numerous). Living independently is the objective.

What else is the project about?

Answer.

Over the course of their stay, individuals are encouraged to be pro-active about the future and subsequent move-on issues. For future move-on reasons individuals must consider working on all of the following: (a) move-on accommodation (b) developing new supporting networks (c) supportive relationships (d) set realistic and achievable goals for future living (e) education, employment, training (f) budgeting and finances (g) domestic skills, life structure and problem solving skills.

What is the hardest thing for me to achieve?

Answer.

Living in the community is possibly the hardest step that most individuals will have to take. Leaving the relative safety of the project can be a daunting prospect for many clients in general. Upholding sobriety will be incredibly difficult. Most clients do in fact report back about the difficulties they experienced in moving on. Consequently, constructive preparation is essential for those who wish to start a new way of life. Please use your time at the project wisely. 'Living out there' requires rational thought, choices and above all the ability to take on responsibility. One key factor for all clients who wish to move on - is to have a 'Motivation to Change.'

The key to success?

Answer.

Motivation to Change is essential to the recovery process for all clients. Those who have the motivation to change their life will progress – because ‘those who change recover.’

Me time is good – but do I need to mix with other people?

Answer.

It is very important that individuals take peaceful time out in their own space. However, social interaction on a daily basis is essential to all clients because social interaction builds both personal confidence and self-esteem.

What is resettlement work?

Answer.

Resettlement work is essentially needs assessment based and non-specific. It is on an individual basis, as it addresses a multitude of complex issues. To explain further, individual requirements are highly singular. As such individual issues have no specific relation to any other group member (other than for reference points and group discussion). Needs assessment and the support plan are about anything that is relevant to any individual's future life in the community.

Will I eat food at the project?

Answer.

Yes, three good meals each day plus any other available food you can eat. Tea and coffee is free and readily available. Cold drinks are available too. Snacks are on hand subject to availability. Special diets and nutritional needs can be discussed with the chef.

Can I cook my own food?

Answer.

Meals are prepared and served at set times. There is always plenty of snacks and extras for anyone who becomes peckish.

Is the building safe?

Answer.

Relatively, the building is as safe as it gets. Touchstones12 employs the services of an independent Health & Safety adviser to oversee the project. Norfolk House is protected by an L1 fire alarm system and we operate a reasonably comprehensive CCTV system.

Can I use the telephone?

Answer.

There is a pay phone in the main building where you can make private phone calls and your relatives can phone in and speak to you. The office phones are available for more practical and businesslike phone calls during office times or by arrangement.

Who do I pay my service charge to?

Answer.

Service charge in the first instance should be paid over to your key-worker who will write out a receipt for the payment. If your key-worker is not available please approach the Senior Project Worker or – thereafter the Project Manager. Service charge payments are recorded on a spreadsheet. We advise that service charge is paid up front in advance.

Am I liable to pay my service charge?

Answer.

Yes, service charge must be paid on time. If any service user has a problem with making a payment then please discuss the matter with your key or the Project Manager. Better to talk and to agree payment plans than it is to be evicted for non-payment of service charge. Pay service charge to your key worker.

Can I do my washing here?

Answer.

Yes you can do your washing at the project and washing tablets are provided. Washing is free, but there is a small charge for using the tumble dryer.

Can I have people or animals stay over in my room?

Answer.

No, residents cannot have friends stay overnight because rooms are allocated on individual basis. The house is both communally residential and abstinence based; therefore on safety grounds alone it is not wise to allow free access to non-residents who have not been risk assessed or tested for usage.  It is not permitted to house a pet of any kind in the bedroom either. Animals will be allowed on the premises for short periods of time, but not before obtaining permission from the project manager. All animals must be kept under strict supervision at all times and owners will be held liable for any damage or hurt caused to other residents.

Can I have a TV in my room?

Answer.

Each room requires a T.V. license. In the past numerous residents have failed to adhere to paying their T.V. license and effectively left T12 in a difficult position. Following on from the lack of responsibility awarded by our residents we decided to uphold a blanket ban for T.V. in the bedrooms.

Can I have a DVD player and watch films in my room?

Answer.

Yes, you can have a DVD player that is connected to a monitor of some kind - or a separate DVD player.