This group is run fortnightly and is optional as it runs outside the unit's therapeutic programme. The aim of the group is the facilitation of direct action through increased user involvement in all aspects of care, treatment, issues pertaining to their environment and the resources provided.
The group provides a forum for comments and complaints to take place in order to enable the young people to be part of the process of change. Representatives of the young people, via the YPC, are invited to attend the monthly Simmons House Management Group.
There is also a Food Steering Group which young people attend to discuss the quality and range of food available.
Food is provided by a menu that meets the nutritional needs of the adolescent to ensure adequate growth and development. Individuals with specific dietary needs can be referred to the dietitian
The National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) ensures that the voices of children and young people are heard in all matters affecting them - click on the logo below.
NYAS provides trained and supported Independent Visitors to children and young people who are eligible and for whom it's in their best 'interest'.
NYAS has advocates and solicitors who are trained and experienced in working with children and young people and will only take their instructions from the child or young person with a problem. The service is confidential and nothing will be done or said without the young person’s consent. (Unless of course, that young person is in serious danger, and even then no action is taken without them knowing)
The NYAS Advocate visits Simmons House every fortnight and there is a free helpline
Tel: 0808 808 1001
"My family were in a real rut with high emotions, anxious, sad, guilty, afraid. Simmons House has helped us to understand these emotions and taught us to feel comfortable with what we are all feeling.
They really understood my daughter: the reasons why she was self harming and allowed her to get out of the bad feelings more than other professional and myself before."
"X’s condition has massively improved by the treatment she has received."
"Staff have always been approachable and understanding towards X and us as a family. I felt listened to and looking back , I feel the right actions were taken to help her."
"The staff understood X’s problems very well and often put themselves out to help her."
"I think the understanding improved enormously over time and I am really thankful for the transformation in X.
He is now an older version of the lad I used to know."
"In themselves my difficulties have not changed. What has is my attitude towards them.
I can handle not living my ideal life, whereas before it drove me into desperation."
"I’m able to attend college. I know my own value and have higher self esteem.
Although I do still have serious problems I am better equipped to deal with them."
"X is far more stable, not at risk of self harm and back in school."
"Staff have always been approachable and understanding towards X and us as a family.
I felt listened to and looking back , I feel the right actions were taken to help her."
"I have gone through mixed feelings about the effectiveness of Simmons House, and although I still think that the manner in which some of the staff relate to us could be greatly improved upon, something has doubtlessly changed.
However, far be it for me to neglect an opportunity to suggest improvements. I think you cannot underestimate how important it is to listen to us in the moment. You can be convinced that doing certain things is good
certain things is good for us, but if we don't believe in you and in the process then it doesn't really matter what you think. The advice I would give the rest of the young people here is, don't get so angry at them that you don't help yourselves, and try and let some things they say in.
Although there is a great deal they don't understand, there is also a great deal they do, and for all its imperfections you will probably never get an opportunity like this again.
So I should probably say thank you. I was sure that everything you put into trying to help me was wasted. I don't know how it happened, but I've changed. I am far from whole but I don't feel like I'm going to be this way forever. I am more in touch with emotions and more in touch with myself.
When I think about how hard you have worked, and how tolerant you are to my ungratefulness, it overwhelmes me. I always thought I was too worthless and hopeless to ever care about. Thank you for trying and thank you for caring."
"When I first arrived at Simmons House the classroom was the first place that I went. I was scared about reading in front of other people, as that was the first thing that I can remember us having to do. I would read ahead of everyone so I knew that I couldn't make any mistakes when it came time to read.
I also used to cover up my work so people couldn,t see my handwriting or what I had written. I used to use headphones during the spelling programme so people couldn't hear if I had got it wrong.
The things that I liked best in the classroom was the work That I was given to do in my workbook. I felt the need to work manically, fly through my work and have everything done that day. I began to like working again, but I think I worked too hard and obsessively.
I hated group the group lessons because I couldn't do my own work and might have to read or answer questions. But as time went on I calmed myself down and began to relax and enjoy my time in the classroom and learn things better. I don't think I would got very far if it wasn,t for the teachers who always took the time to sit down and explain all my work to me.
The best thing about Simmons House classroom that should never change it's a safe place and very relaxed, if I found something hard I was always given help no matter how long I needed. I felt relaxed and safe because I was never made to do work that I felt uncomfortable with but was always encoraged to try. I was always given a choice of work I wanted to do. I think the class should spend more time on general discussion and less time watching educational videos.
I felt that it distracted me and I had nothing to do.
I enjoyed all of the trips with the classroom that I took part in. The best one was the trip to the Globe, it was a great day as I had always wanted to go there and get a real idea and feel of what what it was like to watch a Shakespeare play in the olden days.
Overall I think that in the 9 months I have been here in Simmons House I have learnt many new things and strategies of learning. I have found many new interests and can now do subjects such as maths and science without getting frustrated and strorming off.
I am happy with all the progress that I made while I was here and believe that the classroom was the thing where most of my confidence that I builded up while I was here came from."