Rewriting the Rule Book - Eastbourne Foyer Home Group (Stonham)

Name of the organisation: Eastbourne Foyer Home Group (Stonham)

Personalisation Activity:

Clients changing the ‘negative’ house rules to a positive representation of a good neighbour and user friendly version of a foyer agreement.

Who was involved?

Clients, scheme manager, staff and Sitra.


The scheme manager arranged for a representative group of clients to come together to identify how the service at the Foyer could be improved.  The group included clients who had recently arrived and those who had been there for some time also a client who had been selected for Stonham client audit scheme.  They identified a number of changes that would enhance choice and control and used the session to focus on the ‘house rules’/ Whilst they felt that rules were necessary they wanted to come up with much more effective ways of getting this information across.  This fitted in with the Home Group KISS (keep it short and simple) ethos. The clients formed a project team and  developed a physical representation of a good neighbour – a bust that would sit in receptions where other clients could use ‘post it’ notes to put on characteristics of a good neighbour e.g. is respectful of others, is considerate when playing music etc.  The clients then made an easy read version of the existing house rules in the form of THE FOYER each letter representing one element of the rules.  The clients then presented these and other ideas for improvement at a facilitative day for staff on personalisation.  These ideas included having a photo of each staff member with a quote from clients about their qualities on the notice board of the foyer which was also implemented.

Time frame:

The activity took approximately one month to complete November 2013 – December 2014


What evidence do you have that this resulted in improved outcomes for individuals using services?

  • Client reported that they felt empowered by the project and communication about the boundaries living in a Foyer was client led.
  • Clients have information in an accessible and positive format which improves relationships between clients and staff.
  • Clients felt able to engage with staff on challenging ways in which the service was currently delivered and these would be listened to.

How this resulted in improved outcomes for the service itself?

  • Staff were able to obtain information about service delivery that had unintended outcomes e.g. restricting areas to clients with rooms in that area leading engendering a territorial culture.
  • Information about staff on the notice board reduces the power imbalance between clients and staff and is more welcoming to clients.
  • Engagement has improved as clients are seeing evidence of their contribution

What challenges did the organisation face? How were these resolved?

The transient and sometimes chaotic nature of clients meant it was difficult to have a project team that was consistent. One client leaving the Foyer with jointly produced material.  This was minimised by having a short time frame and a range of individual involved in all aspects so the whole of the work was not lost.

Presenting new ideas to staff meant that they questioned changes to understand how these would work but having senior and external staff involved in the work meant that clients were able to deal with these improving their confidence.

Are there any resources you are able to share? 

Feedback gathered from the clients who did the presentation with the staff is:

“I felt it was useful as I was able to put my point across”

“Good to be able to discuss something with staff, as I cannot write, so being able to speak my mind was good”.

“Scary to start with as I was not sure if staff would listen. There were some interesting points that came up from staff and they really wanted to challenge what we were asking for, but this is our home – good to have the manager there, as it will now happen”.

Feedback from training with Sue & Kirsten

“Loved the food”!

“It didn’t feel like school, which I hated, so I am going to go back to college”.

“Can we do more of this as I like being creative?”

“Loved doing something that was out of the ordinary”

Contact person: Kirsten McCarthy


Phone: 01323 734760