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The Royal College of Psychiatrists Improving the lives of people with mental illness

Community of Communities Annual Forum

March 2017


CofC Update

Sarah Paget, Programme Manager for The Community of Communities Project updates members on the 2016- 2017 project cycle at the Community of Communities 2017 Annual Forum.

Keynote speaker

Keynote speaker John Diamond, CEO at the Mulberry Bush Organisation, talks about the past, present and future of Therapeutic Communities at the Community of Communities 2017 Annual Forum.

Workshops and Presentations

Attendees to the Annual Forum were able to attend two workshops (or one longer workshop).

Each workshop was delivered by members of the CofC network, both staff and service users.  We have received incredible feedback about the workshops!

Please see below for a summary of the workshops available on the day.

Workshop 1

Starting from Scratch: Manuals and Mystification

HMP Gartree TC+ and HMP Grendon TC+


 ‘Starting from Scratch.  Manuals and Mystifications from Chaos to Community of Communities review’. The presentation will showcase an overview of the population in TC+, and discuss how the TC manual is adapted to develop a community for Clients with Learning Disabilities (LD).  The workshop will touch upon the challenged and solutions in the journey from Scratch to Audit, with reflections from staff and residents on the journey so far.


Workshop 2

Reductions in the Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Following Treatment in a Therapeutic Community: Implications for Clinical Practice.

Richard Shuker, HMP Grendon


This workshop considers whether forensic therapeutic communities are effective in treatment symptoms of trauma, explores residents' experiences of treatment and considers the relevance of TCs as an intervention and social climate for those experiencing trauma.



Workshop 3

The value of Community of Communities for your TC: An Interactive Workshop

Neelam Khawani, Stuart Whitelaw & Katie Plummer


This workshop will explore the challenges of getting the most out of the CofC membership for Communities. Discussions will centre on the challenges of self-reviews and peer reviews, and how best to utilise CofC to overcome these challenges and improve services.  Neelam and Stuart will be able to provide expertise and experiences from two angles; completing a self-review within their TCs, and participating in and leading peer reviews.


Workshop 4

Past, Present and Future:  Growing our TCs, Growing in a TC

Amberleigh Care (Golfa Hall)


Staff and boys from Amberleigh Care will describe the evolution of their TCs across 9 years’ involvement in the CofC cycle. The presentation will consider the organisational development over this period, internal and external benefits and plans for the future. We will hear from two of the young community members who will share their own past, present and futures, drawing on their lived experience in one of our TCs.


Workshop 5

Past, Present and Future: Finding Myself in the Therapeutic Community

Dr Chris Nicholson (University of Essex)


An ‘Active Education Event’ for those who work, live and participate in Therapeutic Communities.

This workshop is AEE focused on linking our past, present and future environments to the role we take up in groups which are person and/or professional.                                                     


What is a ‘Social Care Active Education Event’?

“A Social Care Active Education Event is an opportunity for accelerated professional development in your role and career. It is designed to provide a transformative learning experience blending a personal style of conference presentation with a series of experiential group events ultimately designed to engage the whole person by making connections between personal and professional life.”  


Workshop 6

Experts by Experience: Our Journey at HMP Dovegate

Tony Wright and Gus Angeli (HMP Dovegate)


Join the members from Therapeutic Communities within HMP Dovegate taking a look at how their TCs have changed over the years. This will be explored through videos of community members demonstrating how residents and staff have been empowered to excel, and become experts in their own journeys.


Workshop 7

Hilltop House TC: Our Journey: Our Journey

Richard Jones, Zoe Dixon & Emma (Footsteps to Futures – Hilltop House)


This workshop is an overview of Hilltop House’s past, present and future. In this workshop we aim to do the following: (1) share our experiences; (2) highlight how you can get the most out of CofC membership; (3) raise awareness of our service and; (4) showcase our journey from an empty house to a therapeutic children’s home well on its way to accreditation. This is facilitated by three of our community members (two staff, and one young person).


Workshop 8

Aspatria TC: The Culture, Conflict and Complexities of Closure

Simon Coope and Cheryl Waugh (Independent Peer/Lead Reviwers)


After several years of uncertainty, the Therapeutic Community in Aspatria, Cumbria closed. This workshop will briefly reflect on the history of this community whilst focusing upon NHS pressures, culture and change. The importance of service data and research is highlighted in this workshop as a way to promote the benefits to commissioners, managers and medical professionals. In the final part of the workshop we would like to have discussions as a group around the experiences of Service Users and Staff who have been involved in the pressures to reduce services.                                 

Simon Coope;          
Simon is a past service user and employee of the NHS with an interest in personality disorders. He currently is a member of TCAP, an Assessor and Lead Reviewer for both Enabling Environments and Community of Communities.

Cheryl Waugh;        
Cheryl is also a past service user and is still employed within the NHS, working within the psychosis team. Cheryl is also an Independent Peer Reviewer for Community of Communities.




Workshop 9

Engaging and Empowering Members of a Therapeutic Community - our Journey with the Community of Communities

Glebe House


This workshop is presented as an Interactive Community Meeting where participants will sit in a circle and be encouraged to join the presentation by asking questions and offering thoughts. This workshop will be led by members of The Glebe House Community Chairmen’s Group who will discuss aspects of their journey within our Community based on our model of practice developed through the Community of Communities Therapeutic Standards’.


Friends Therapeutic Community Trust – Glebe House-has been open for over 50 years. We have been involved in the Community of Communities Project since it began and involved in therapeutic standards based peer review schemes for more than 20 years.


Save the Date

CofC Annual Forum 2018 Save the Date








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