Mount Lodge is a supported housing project run by Community Housing and Therapy (CHT) for 15 residents who are experiencing mental health and emotional difficulties.
The service is a large house with 15 single bedrooms for residents. Shared facilities include four bathrooms, two large lounges, dining area, kitchen and a private space for individual therapy sessions. There is also a large rear garden with a smoking shelter.
Mount Lodge operates as a Therapeutic Community within a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) model. This means that each resident takes part in our therapeutic programme which is created to empower each person to become more aware of themselves. We also try to work together to find new ways to communicate with each other and doing so to build healthy relationships, which hopefully will influence and enrich our futures for the better.
Each resident has a keyworker to support in planning individual goals and also has access to individual psychotherapy with the Community Psychotherapist.
Our aim is for residents to participate in this experience – to learn to discuss and explore difficulties and feelings, and to share and engage with others, your environment and community.
The Therapeutic Programme
The Therapeutic Programme offered at Mount Lodge consists of a mixture of therapeutic groups, individual key-working and individual psychotherapy.
Community Meeting: This is a group that involves all members of the community (staff and residents). During this meeting residents and members of staff share information, give feedback to one another, make announcements and take decisions on issues that relate to and interest the members of the community.
Friday Planning Meeting: In this meeting we plan for the following week’s meetings, activities, and meals. All residents are encouraged and expected to take part. We also discuss practical matters of the community such as house budgets for activities, shopping, and designing communal spaces.
Cleaning Group: This group takes place every day for around 45 minutes and all members of the community are encouraged to attend. The aim of the group is to keep a clean and tidy environment and to learn independent living skills that will help residents to become more independent in the future. Every resident has a day when he/she is expected to join the cleaning group.
Opportunity group: During this group we have an opportunity to do external activities (cinema, bowling, coffee) or to learn new things. The Group also intends to promote different personal and social skills amongst residents.
Peer Support Group: The aim of this group is to help residents identify their feelings about their past and about the present, to learn that they are not alone in having problems, learning to adapt to others, learning to understand themselves better, learning that others are interested in them and care about them, receiving feedback and gaining hope for the future.
Creativity Group: The aim of this group is to explore and perform different creative activities like art, music, sports. Sometimes is focused on a specific tasks, at other times it is for community members to get together and experience a creative process together.
This is an important part of the day as it is a time for the community to come together. Preparing, cooking and sharing food is a way to enjoy the company of others. Every day a resident takes responsibility for shopping and cooking for the community alongside a staff member. The menu is planned once a week during the planning group so residents can decide what to eat and when to cook, and ask for any requirements.
Residents are assigned a key-worker, who will support you in all matters. For some residents this may be support with independent living skills for example, washing, budgeting and attending appointments, for others this could be support with gaining voluntary employment, starting a college course or such like.
Mount Lodge has a Community Psychotherapist and all residents are able to access individual psychotherapy as part of their support.
Residents have free time to spend on personal interests. Staff can support residents to find out more about their interests and connect them with external agencies where the residents will be able to follow their interests.
House rules / boundaries
Boundaries are important to provide a safe and a containing environment. Residents at Mount Lodge come from a variety of backgrounds and have a range of presenting needs. Residents at Mount Lodge live together and share the environment with others and therefore need to be mindful, respectful and considerate of other people.
– You will have a room of your own, which is your space where you can create your own environment. Make it your own and take care of the appearance of your room – You will be responsible for keeping it clean and tidy. You can bring your own ideas about what you want to have in your room, such as pictures and books.
– No Violence.
– We have a non-smoking policy within the premises, so smoking is not allowed in any of the rooms of the house. We have a lovely outdoor smoking shelter in our garden which was put together by community members.
– No alcohol and no drugs are allowed on the premises.
– Using therapeutic groups and respecting boundaries. As in all relationships there may occasionally be conflicts. We encourage people to use the groups as a safe space where one can address conflicts in the community with respect for each other.
– Family contacts are encouraged. Visitors to the project during hours of the Therapeutic Programme are limited to external professionals. Family and friends can visit outside of the programme hours and at weekends. We have a visitors’ book, as we have to have a record of all visitors coming onto the premises. Visitors to the property are not allowed to remain after 9.00 p.m.
Pets / animals – part of community life!
Mount Lodge is an animal friendly environment! Pets are permitted with the agreement of the Service Manager. Currently Mount Lodge has a canine resident – Zack, who is a fully trained Therapy Dog!
The house also boasts a variety of visiting wildlife, such as bees in the garden and seagulls!
Local area information
Mount Lodge is in the town of Eastbourne. The house is situated about 10 minutes walk from the town centre. The town centre has a range of shops and an indoor shopping centre. There is a local Library, Lesuire Centre, Cinema, College and GP services.
Eastbourne also has plenty of entertainment and events all year round such as Airbourne, one of the UK’s biggest free seafront airshows or the challenging Beachy Head Marathon. There are regular bandstand concerts at the seafront, as well as theatre shows and the Eastbourne International Tennis Tournament
The seafront is located about 0.5 miles away from Mount Lodge.
Mount Lodge residents use a range of transport options to get around, the train station is a 5-minute walk away with direct trains available to Brighton and London. There are also regular bus services. You could also choose to get around by bike or by walking.