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

Community of Communities


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COMMUNITY OF COMMUNITIES 2017-2018 CREATIVE COMPETITION We received some fantastic entries for this year's creative competition. Congratulations to all the winners.

Creative Competition 2016-2017 Winners


Category: 3D Art and Sculpture


  • 1st Place: 'Golden Kiwi' , by Sarah Leeden - Ashburn Clinic (left)
  • 2nd Place: 'Yarn Bomb Tree', by The Ashburn Clinic (right)

Category: 2D Art


  • 1st Place: 'Life Goes On', by HMP Grendon (left)
  • 2nd Place: 'Konnections', by Sharon - Brenchley Unit (right)

Category: Children and Young People's Art


  • 1st Place: 'Moving Forward', by Kane - Channels and Choices (left)
  • 2nd Place: 'Untitled', by Chloe - Channels and Choices (right)

Opportunities to work within Therapeutic Communities

For new opportunities to work in a Therapeutic Community, please click on the job titles below for more information about the role. Please use the contact details provided in the adverts for all correspondents relating to these opportunities.


Ashburn Clinic -Consultant Psychiatrist

  • Based in Dunedin, New Zealand
  • Closing date: Open ended (Please ignore closing date in below document)

Click here to view a full advert and see more information


If you would like to post an advert for an opportunity to work within your therapeutic community, or would like to post an notice on our notice board, please email


COMMUNITY OF COMMUNITIES 2016 COMPETITION For the 2016-2017 cycle we launched a Creative Competition split into 5 categories. We received some fantastic entries, and the network have voted on their winners! 

Congratulations to all the winners.


Creative Competition 2016-2017 Winners

Category: Painting and Drawing Winners

CofC Creative Competition

Creative Competiton

Creative Competition

CofC Creative Competition

CofC Creative Competition


  • 1st Place: 'Sunflower', by Fay Read,- Christ Church Deal (top left)
  • 2nd Place: 'Ghost in the machine', by Sean Donoher - HMP Dovegate (top right) 
  • 3rd Place: 'Relish the small pleasures', by Liam, Jay, Ty and Paul- Appletree Treatment Centre (middle left)
  • 4th Place: by Community member at HMP Dovegate Endeavour (middle right)
  • 5th Place: by Community members at HMP Dovegate Endeavour (bottom centre)



Category: Photography Winners




  • 1st Place: Matthew Farrant from Ashburn Community (top)
  • 2nd Place: Marnie Wenman form Ashburn Community (bottom)





Category: Poetry Winners


1st Place


2nd Place

She said

Take my hand

I struggled, I cried


She said

Take my hand

I cursed, said I can’t


She said

Take my hand

You can do this, just try


So I did

I took her hand

I let her hold me

I let her hold my pain

For just a little while

And I cried



I know it hurts to cut yourself but people do it because

pain and stress gets less in the release of blood .

I know around Brixton, Water Lane is not a good place to walk at night.

I know that being in a crowd in a city can feel like you're in a tiny box marked claustrophobic, where you're an ant who can get stepped on.

I know here it's peaceful, I don't hear sirens.

I know that keep-change-flip

can help divide fractions.

I know trees breathe out carbon dioxide and without them we'd die.

I know the world is meant to be

our oyster but that sharks swim in clusters everywhere,

as do piranhas in suits.

I know life is hard and challenging, but if you get over the hurdles, you can achieve anything,

cos what are hurdles if not something we're meant to jump?


Marnie Wenman from Ashburn Community

Billie-Jo F, from Lawrence House


                           3rd Place


                           4th Place

  If I could catch a rainbow I would do it just for you,

And share with you it’s beauty on the day you’re feeling blue.

If I could build a mountain you could call your very own

A place to fine serenity, a place to be alone.

If I could take your troubles I would toss them in the sea

But all these things I’m finding, are impossible for me,

I cannot build a mountain nor catch a rainbow fair, but let me be what I know best,

A friend who’s always there.



Belonging is like finding the missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

Eventually finding a place where I fit in.

Longing for people accept me for who am

Overwhelming feeling of care and support with no judgement

Noticing I have something to contribute; ideas, emotions, knowledge

Gaining a feeling of inclusion

In belonging comes freedom, independence to grow

Now I can be myself, no longer on the outside, lively, bubbly and eager to join in.

Gone are the layers of depression, to be replaced with a warm blanket of safety and security.


Hope, from Hopedale House Kayleigh S, from Channels and Choices


Joint 5th Place #1



Hold The Line

Something there is about the deep drum roll of distant thunder that says,

Do not take things for granted,

Just listen to the whisper of the breeze through high borne leaves,

And wonder,

Where a change might come,

As the early crescent moon summons the Pipistrel,

To play and feed down lanes of fragrant elderflower strolls,

Hold the line, for now.


No reason there is to doubt the tumbling, swirling curlew call that says,

I know you’re there, and sometimes life is not fair,

So do not take things for granted,

For change will come when there is still work to be done, as the soft lines of a summer night,

Bathe the hills,

With blue gentle flame and magical iris streams,

Hold the line, for now.


Everything there is to know about not turning back too soon that says,

Give it time to feel the change, and be prepared,

Never to take anything for granted,

Reach out to touch and taste the silent shades of pain, make the transition to forgive and let go,

Try not to be afraid,

To weep, to smile, to say how it feels,

And hold the line.


Jon Sawdon, from HMP Gartree


Joint 5th Place #2


Therapy is like a Sat-Nav,

I believe we can choose for our ultimate destination,

One of 2 options,

Therapy gives us free will to decide,

If we choose therapy,

It gives us the route to get there,

If we stray off track,

TC recalculates and directs us back to where we are at,

TC keeps recalculating and recalculating however often we stray,

We can choose to take the quick and easiest option, quit, or run away,

Or we can choose to take long, painful and costly detours,

The choice is yours,

Even after we have made a decision,

To follow the TC path and we stray off track,

People will be available to push you right back,

The best destination is an obvious choice,

This is an ongoing journey,

Long and hard, not a motorway with exits.

You can can’t come and go when you please and you can’t hide,

This is an individual choice,

That you yourself have to make,

So good luck in your future and the work that lies ahead,

I’m off to set my sat-nav then I’m off to bed


Graham Gibson, from HMP Dovegate Endeavour



Category: Sculpture Winners


  • Joint 1st Place: 'Them on That' by Richard Hallam- HMP Dovegate (top left) and 'Windmill' by Jimmy Stewart from HMP Gartree (top right)
  • 2nd Place: 'Tea 4 Two' by Andre Thompson - HMP Dovegate (middle left)
  • Joint 3rd Place: 'Josiah is a bad apple?' by Josiah Faure (bottom left), and 'Comfort FM' by Lee Shaw (bottom right), both from HMP Dovegate.




Category: Short Stories Winners

  • 1st Place is awarded to Graham Gibson from HMP Dovegate Endeavour with 'Life in Therapy'.

  Life in Therapy

Our thoughts and feelings that have been all over the place start to come together again.

We start to gain control over our lives.

Tension is released and our nerves become more relaxed.

Our darkness then becomes light. We become aware of our emotions and we get stronger.

We begin to feel an inner balance.

Gradually our pain melts away. Compassion, serenity, self believe and freedom.

Concern for others comes to us more easily.

Therapy, ‘A new Life’.

A better you?



  • 2nd Place is awarded to Stuart Ballingall from HMP Gartree with 'Metaphor'.


Sat in my 6 by 9 this afternoon with the TV on but not really watching it because my mind was a million miles away as usual after I put in a shift on therapy today.

Outside through the bars the sun was trickling into my cell on a mild October day, when something caught my gaze. Out the corner of my eye I saw this little movement and my attention was summoned.

It fell! But stopped mid-air, amazed I moved to focus my view. It moved again and started to climb, how strange what was this doing in my thoughts? Again I was a million miles away as usual musing with a smile, this little thing had my attention again.

It fell again and stopped mid-air as if by magic, now I really was interested! Again it moved and started to climb. This time was a little further than before but then without choice it fell again, but stopped mid-air.

A leisurely smile broke across my face watching this little miracle happening before me. Intrigued I studied more on this little thing and again it started to climb for another attempt gaining more distance than the last time until again it fell.

A humorous chuckle left my lips and again this little thing started to climb until it got up to a vantage point and again it fell.

This time it was I who climbed, climbed the thoughts to remember where I had this memory. After some time, struggling with this echo, I finally recalled where it had come from.

It was a King sat in a cave contemplating a battle, trying to find his answer just watching a spider trying to cast a web failing and failing until finally at last it managed to get where it wanted to be without ever giving up.


 Today I felt like a King just watching a spider.






Where next...

Community of Communities, The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 21 Prescot Street
London, E1 8BB

Tel: 020 3701 2674   Email:

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