Comic Relief Run

There’s no catching the students from Oakwood Court College in Dawlish because 13 of them have recently completed the Exeter Riverside 5km Park Run in aid of comic relief.

The run was really tough and really challenged each and every one of the students. It was the fantastic team support, 100% positive attitude and downright determination that got them round the course – that and the fact that they were set to raise £400 for Comic Relief.

The students were supported by a fantastic team of staff and friends who provided the encouragement, accompanied the runners and cheered them all on from the side lines

Parkrun, the event organisers said they really enjoyed meeting the Oakwood Court students and looked forward to seeing them again so it looks like the trainers will be getting plenty of use in the future!

Red Nose Fun Run Red Nose Fun Run 2

No Red Faces at Phoenix…Just Red Noses!

The young people and staff at Phoenix Learning and care made a monumental effort on Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day this year with amazing results.

Who knew that Mary Berry would be in fear of her job with all the amazing baking that went on with pupils at The Academy and Acorn School baking up a real storm all in aid of this amazing cause?

It was red T shirts all the way for the whole team at Meddon who are always up for getting involved and raising much needed cash and were joined by everyone at head office who were ‘in the red’ too.

What a fantastic effort – well done everyone!

Red Nose Cakes (2)The Academy Bake up (2)             Red for Red Nose Day (2)Red Nose biscuits (2)Comic Relief Poster 3 (2)

Take Over Day!

As suspected the young people from Phoenix learning and Care really showed the team at Head Office how it’s done and made a real success of the very first ‘Take Over Day’ on the 18th February.

The day started by the young people conducting an interview on a potential member of staff. This included calling them to book the time, asking various interview questions and then discussing the candidate before coming to a decision. He got the job!

Next it was time to get down to the detail and the young people carried out a Regulation 33 visit on head office and fresh eyes checks!!

The group was given a budget of £500. They then had to work with senior management to sort the finance, legalities and staffing before coming together to have an executive meeting and to make a decision on how best to use the money.

Suggestions included going for a day out, donating the money to charity, a possible photo shoot to enable them to make calendars for further fund raising. All of these were great ideas and the enthusiasm was contagious!

In the end it was suggested by one young person that they all go to London and attend the APPG. As this is a meeting in Parliament from 5-7pm it was agreed that they would use the money to get the train there, and to visit the dungeons and the London eye whilst there!!

Unfortunately the invites have all gone for the APPG and there will not be another until after the election. Instead we have organised for the group to visit the Who Cares? Trust offices in London and for them to have their own workshop in producing the Who Cares? Magazine. The young people are already really excited about this visit and looking forward to taking away a copy of the magazine they have had real input into.

Well done everyone involved and role on the next time.

Take Over Day Take Over Day 4 tod 6 TOD

Safer Internet Day

Students at Oakwood Court College in Dawlish participated in a safer internet day on Tuesday 10th of February. The purpose of this event was to teach the students how to use social networking safely and how to enjoy the benefits whilst keeping safe. They were taught how to be respectful online, how to recognise the signs of online bullying, how to report bullying and who to report to.

The students were able to demonstrate what they had learnt through making posters and working through an interactive test. Safer Internet Poster





Our Young People Show us how it’s done!

The team at Head Office are quaking in their boots because any minute now a whole bunch of young people are going to step up, take the ropes and show them how it’s done!

At Phoenix Learning and Care we believe in complete transparency and in hearing the voice of the young people in our care in as many innovative ways as possible.

On Wednesday 18th February Phoenix Learning and Care are opening up Head Office to a group of young people from throughout the company. What better way to truly understand the challenges of running a company than inviting the major stake holders to experience it first hand?

The idea was first brought to the table during a recent meeting of our Children’s Council. The young people were really keen to understand exactly what function the Head Office plays, the wider issue of running a care organisation and the roles everyone plays in making it happen.

Our young people will have the opportunity to shadow all members of the team including Keith Burley our CEO, Siobain who heads up quality, Theresa in HR, Francois in Finance and Donna on reception.

Rest assured the day won’t all be asking questions and drinking coffee! The young people will be undertaking real business activities including negotiations, interviews and the chance to liaise with staff on future plans and projects.

As if they aren’t going to be busy enough the group will be given a cash budget which they will work together to allocate as they see fit, presenting the reasons behind their choices to the Executive Team at the end of the day.

At Phoenix we see our take over day as a massive opportunity not just for our young people but for all of us to learn from each other and be part of a stronger more connected business going forward.

   White Board with brain stormed ideas on what to do for Take Over Day

Nathan On Ice!

Move over celebrities it’s time for Nathan to show off his ice skating skills! Young people throughout Phoenix Learning and Care have had a fantastic time this Christmas but none more so than Nathan.

Whilst this photos may look like Nathan and his support team flew off to some far flung ski resort it was actually a trip to Bristol and the Winter Wonderland set up at Cribbs Causeway.

At the start of the trip Nathan was definitely more Bambi on ice but by the end was wizzing around like a pro. Next stop Dancing on Ice!!

Nathan on Ice

Christmas isn’t just about the presents…’s all about the jumpers!

This Christmas there was definitely something in the water at Phoenix Learning and care. Just when we thought everyone had a reputation for such great taste and fashion sense out came the Christmas jumpers!

On this occasion we can definitely forgive the staff and young people because it was all done for such a good cause. Christmas jumpers were dug out, dusted off and worn with pride to raise money for Save the Children. Well done everyone!


Nathan at Christmas          Christmas Fever





Young People have their Voices heard at the Children, Young People and Families Alliance

At a recent event organised by Devon County Council representing the Children, Young People and Families Alliance, young people from Phoenix Learning and Care had the opportunity to ask questions and have their voices heard.

James and Dylan from Osbourne were accompanied by staff to the event held at Woodlands Adventure Park in Totnes. The event was an opportunity for young people to meet with a whole range of stake holders within their local community including representatives from the county council, the police, social services, health care and community groups. It was also a chance to use the park in between sessions to let off steam and have some well-earned fun!

The whole day was set up so that young people could address their questions to the people that could really effect change and to feed back what services and facilities they would like to see and really need in their own communities.

For James it was important to know how the issue of bullying is being addressed particularly in local schools and colleges. He was able to speak at length with a Police Community Support Officer and has even invited them to pop in for a cuppa the next time they are in the area to continue the discussion!

The event was a great success and a lot of very interesting views and opinions from both children and stakeholders were gained about things that need to be made better or need to be changed in order to improve things for all children, young people and families in the county. The next stage for the Alliance is to collate the feedback and from this start to identify the key priorities that will form the basis of the new Children and Young People’s Plan.

The Praise Tree

Every day presents us with challenges but young people and staff at Bourneville have created a praise tree to celebrate their successes and take time to reflect on the things that are going really well in their life.

The Praise Tree has pride of place on the stair well at Bourneville where everyone can see it no matter how much of a rush they are in or how busy the day ahead is. The tree was designed, painted and positioned by the young people at Bournville. Hand shapes cut from coloured paper form a vibrant scene but it is the messages written on the hands which are really inspirational.

No matter how tough a day has been, young people and staff encourage each other to find a positive message they would like to share and they write it on a hand shape and add it to the tree.

The result is a positive daily reminder of the progress being made and a brilliant piece of art work which is changing every day!

The Praise Tree on the wall with hands stuck on        One of the hands on the tree saying "I am special because I'm great at school".       One of the hands on the tree saying "I am special because I have lots of friends".

…….And the Talent just keeps coming!

There is definitely something in the water down at Oakwood Court in Torpoint! Two young people have once again had stories short listed in a county short story writing competition. Rohan has had his work ‘Highly Commended’ while Nikki’s story was placed third.

As if this wasn’t enough, Nikki who was clearly on a role scooped a Gold Medal having won her Badminton game at Bournemouth this weekend. The next stage sees Nikki and her family travelling to Sheffield to take on the next challenge. I hope she has saved some room on her wall for another medal… this space.

Well done to all students and staff at Torpoint who just keep the good news coming!