January - March 2017

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Easter chocolate collection for Derian House

One of our residents writes about his charitable work:

I asked permission to put a box in the staff office in which to collect chocolates and sweets for Easter for the children of Derian House Hospice. My reason behind this was to ‘pay forward’ the kind feelings felt when I was in psychiatric hospital in 1994 and a stranger gave me an Easter Egg. I felt happy and cared about. One of our officers suggested rolling out my idea to all wings and units. So, with permission from our custody manager, I made loads of posters, displayed them around the jail, and got permission to attend each wing (along with a Beacon Unit Officer) on a canteen delivery day, five consecutive Fridays prior to Easter. I was overwhelmed with the generosity of the prisoners and staff, truly humbled and very thankful to the staff being able to accompany me on collection days, without which I couldn’t have collected as much as I did do. Approximately £200 pounds in donations of chocolate and sweets was delivered to the hospice on our behalf by one of our discover team, Janice.

Focus on Personality Disorder

Histrionic personality disorder According to Psychology Today Histrionic personality disorder is characterized by constant attention-seeking, emotional overreaction, and suggestibility. A person with this condition tends to over-dramatize situations, which may impair relationships and lead to depression.

The NHS states that people with histrionic personality disorder can be anxious about being ignored. As a result, they feel a compulsion (overwhelming urge) to be noticed and the centre of everyone’s attention. Personality disorders tend to fall into three categories – Suspicious, Emotional and impulsive Anxious. In this article we will focus on the Emotional and impulsive category in particular histrionic personality disorder. It is important to remember somebody may meet criteria for multiple types of personality disorder. This can be common and different with a wide range of individual experiences.

According to Mind, a charitable mental health organisation, traits

which may present are:

Feel very uncomfortable if you are not the centre of attention.

Feel much more at ease as the ‘life and soul of the party’.

Feel that you have to entertain people.

Behave in a way to ensure that you remain the centre of attention.

Get a reputation for being dramatic and overemotional.

Feel dependent on the approval of others.

Be easily influenced by others. Displaying excessive emotion, yet appearing to lack real emotional sincerity .

Moving quickly from one emotional state to another displaying excessive emotion, yet appearing to lack real emotional sincerity.

Being self-centred and caring little about other people.

Constantly seeking reassurance and approval from other people.

The recommended form of treatment for histrionic personality disorder is psychotherapy.

Research Design Group

This is a new and innovative group. It is designed to help group members understand basic principles of research and design. These include:

  •  Service-user involvement (i.e. research being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ service users rather than just ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them)
  • Methods of collecting & analysing data—qualitative (words/text) vs. quantitative (numbers/stats)
  • Sample size
  • Ethics
  •  Informed consent

The RDG provides an opportunity to develop skills in:

  • Leadership
  • Critical thinking
  • Effective communication
  • Team working
  • Organisation & planning
  • Being interviewed & interviewing
  • Speaking & listening
  • Building or developing positive relationships
  • Confidence, assertiveness, problem solving and much more. 

The RDG are involved in a number of projects. Group members helped develop questions for residents’ individual exit interviews. Currently we are conducting research on the referral process and offender engagement. The aims for this project are: 1. To gain an understanding of residents’ motivation and readiness to engage in the Beacon programme. 2. To inform the referral process.

It is hoped that having acquired all this information and data the RDG can then analyse the data and prepare a report which will be comprehensive, written in plain (accessible) English free from jargon and understandable to all who read it. The RDG can give us a better understanding of research on the Beacon to make it a more positive place now and in the future. We believe it has the potential to reduce stigma, give all of us pride in our community and a chance of getting our work published.

“A better understanding of research on the Beacon to make it a more positive place now and in the future".

— Aaron, Iain, Lee, Paul, Steven, and Maria

Q&A Session with new staff member Andrew

Andrew has recently joined the Beacon staff team as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. He will be adding upcycling, photography and understanding art groups to the program.

Q: Now that you’ve been here at the Beacon for a little while, what are your impressions of the work

A: It is exciting to work in an environment where high standards are set with a personal centered approach. Working in the groups is enjoyable

And working with such a strong team can only make me better

Q: And how have you been welcomed as the new guy around?

A: Being the new guy is never easy but when people are friendly

It goes a long way. I’m already feeling more settled. Thanks for asking

Q: Has there been any aspect of the Beacon that has caught your eye and you are looking forward to exploring?

I’m excited to introduce some new groups to the program and hopefully they will capture some people’s imagination.

Q: What do you think you could bring to the Beacon such as skills and experiences?

A: I hope my background in art can be used in future groups

7 Marathons in 7 Days

One of our residents is about to embark on a tough challenge for charity:

The children’s hospital in Sheffield is just one of four stand alone children’s hospitals in the UK, providing specialist care for children from all over the world. It’s amazing and they never stop striving to make it better.

Everyday the children benefit from life saving and specialist medical equipment funded through charitable donations.

This is why I have chosen to support the charity by doing 7 marathons in 7 days starting on Saturday 20th May 2017. I’m also supporting the charity because I come from Sheffield and always try to give something back to the local community.

EE Standards

The Beacon is working towards an Enabling Environment Award which aims to develop and support a healthy social environment. The Enabling environment involves 10 standards; Belonging, Involvement, Boundaries, Structure, Safety, Openness, Communication, Development, Leadership should be understood as a way of communicating so everyone feels valued and empowered.

This issue will focus on:


“It is recognised that people communicate in different ways.”

In an enabling environment all members of the community should be responsible for trying to understand each other. All behaviour not just spoken.

It might not be easy to see this if someone is angry or isolating themselves but trying to understand leads to a better environment.

On the Beacon, staff and residents work hard to communicate by discussing feelings behind the way people act, using a variety of ways to communicate and recognising that the way people act is a form of communication.

“All behaviour is a way of communicating”

There are group sessions around understanding and developing relationship skills, staff attend training to better understand how people behave to communicate what they need and regularly meet to discuss feelings behind the way people act, both staff and residents are encouraged to fill out questionnaires to express their opinions and comments. 1-1 or group creative arts sessions encourage residents to express their thoughts or feelings in a creative manner. Residents and their therapists will work on a formulation together, This is an ongoing piece of work which is a way of making sense of a person’s experiences and difficulties It is a bit like a personal story i.e. how someone is and who they are. This can be expressed in written, visual and verbal forms.

Greetings from the Beacon—a charitable greetings card venture

Back in September 2016 the residents began a handmade greetings cards project with the aim of creating quality cards at an affordable price to sell to all prisoners and staff.

With a cash start up donation from Governor Kennedy, all members of the group worked extremely hard over the following months designing and making the cards, taking pictures and producing posters and order forms to advertise to all the wings. Cards have included Christmas, Valentines Day, Passover, Mother’s Day, Easter, as well as birthdays, thinking of you, I love you. The group is constantly working on new designs to offer a wider choice and cards can be personalised with names, ages and messages. Profits go to the Samaritans . Cards can be ordered through the PID reps at a cost of 60p.

So far over 300 cards have been sold with very positive feedback from those who have bought them.

The card making group should be very proud of themselves for making the venture such a success and prisoners and staff can look forward to a wider variety of quality cards to buy.

Poem - Awake

Yes you bro get your head clear

The message from the Beacon not far it’s near

From simian somnambulism not monkeying around

Depression is lessened, your fears less profound

No cares for your mental ills eh lad

For pills can make you dizzy and sad

Look in your mirror and laugh at your face

You are a unique member of the human race

Try not to worry and try not to wail

To fail is to be normal yes, even in jail

Your head and your heart beat as one

Remember your principles fought for and won

But keeping emotions and feelings in check is a surprise

The strength of your continual confidence is a prize