Life at Owlswick – by young people for young people
Hello, we’ve come up with a list of some some of the most important questions that we thought you would want to know about and then answered them ourselves (with the help of a teacher).
Is it fun at Owlswick?
You can do lots of things at Owlswick, like playing games, watching DVD’s, going on the computer, playing on the x-box, using the go-karts, going to the skate park or swimming or cinema . You can also tell the staff what you like and what you want to do. There are lots of times when you will go out with the staff and other young people to do stuff.
Owlswick is a large house which some young people think looks a bit like Hogwarts from Harry Potter inside. There is a computer room, living rooms, play room and dining room for everyone to use and each young person has their own bed room.
Owlswick also has a school in the gardens which all the young people who live here go to during the week. This is like a normal school and has classrooms and computers.
Everyone has their own bedroom and they can choose the colour it is painted. You can being anything you want to put into your room and it is important that you bring toys, games, photo’s and pictures so you can make the room your own space. You can ask the staff for the things that you want to put in there.
There are two groups of staff at Owlswick. One group is the care team who work at the house and one group is the education team who work at the school. All of the staff are really friendly and like to get to know the young people who live here so you can talk to them whenever you need to. Lots of the staff have worked at Owlswick for a while so they know the place very well and what young people like to do.
There is a head teacher called Margaret and then other teachers called Michael, Tracey, Ola and Roz, There are also some people who work as teaching assistants and they will help you in the classroom if you need it. These people are Kim and Kate. The teachers know that school can be a hard place for some young people and make sure that you are have lots of time to learn new things as well as helping you if you don’t understand something in a lesson.
All of the staff are here for you to talk to about anything that you want to say. If something is worrying you or you want someone to help you then you can talk to a member of the team and they will then sort out any problems. You may want to talk about your family or friends or the things that interest you. You will also have a member of staff called a ‘key –worker’ who will talk and get to know you so you can work on your care plan together.
Everyone at Owlswick gets pocket money every week. How much you get depends on how old you are and you get more as you get older. The pocket money starts at £3.00 but you can earn extra money each week for keeping your room tidy, doing household jobs and any good behaviours.
If someone does bully you then you need to tell a member of staff straight away so they can make sure that the bullying stops. If you are worried that talking to someone will make the bullying worse then you need not to worry about this as the staff will make sure that you are not scared or upset by another person.
The food is good. We have a cook called Erika who makes meals every day for us. We can ask for the food we like to eat and she will make sure that she cooks this. We can also tell her about the food we do not like to eat. There is lots of choice of food.
You would not be able to go out on your own until you were 14 and it all depends on how responsible you can be for yourself when you go out. When you do want to go out the staff will talk to you about where you want to go and who you want to meet to check out that this it is a safe thing for you to do. They will also check in with you whilst you are out and make sure you are ok. As you get older you will be able to go out on your own more and for longer times but this will need to be agreed with staff in advance and they need to know when you are getting back as well as who you are meeting.
No young person is allowed to drink alcohol or smoke on the grounds of Owlswick. If you are of the right (legal) age and make the decision to smoke then you will need to do this outside of Owlswick and the staff will be aware that you smoke. You can talk to the staff about this. It is the same thing for drinking and the staff would be talking to you about drinking, how this can make you feel and the importance of being safe if you are of the right age to drink.
The young people go to bed at different times depending on their ages. The older you are the later you can stay up. The earliest bed time is 8.15pm but this is for the youngest person.
There are some rules about what you can and can’t do at Owlswick and the main ones are about you staying out, going out on your own, whether you want to smoke or drink and how you need to behave to staff and other young people. The staff will always explain why they need to make a decision about something and also ask you for your opinion if you having a talk about something you want to do. If there is anything that you think is unfair then you can say to the staff what you think and they will talk to you about decisions and situations.
Owlswick Children and Young People’s Handbook and Welcome Pack
You can find out more about life at Owlswick by downloading our handbook and welcome pack.