Enabling Environment

What is an enabling environment?

  • A place where people live, work or come together for a specific purpose.
  • It enables participants to feel safe enough to develop relationships and to share experiences and ideas with others.
  • It allows individuals to be involved in making decisions on matters that affect them and support them to take risks and be open to new ideas and relationships.

The ten standards which outline the core values of a healthy environment are:

  1. Involvement - Staff and residents share responsibility for the environment.
  2. Boundaries - There are expectations of behaviour and processes to maintain and review them.
  3. Structure - Engagement and purposeful activity is actively encouraged.
  4. Belonging - The nature and quality of relationships are of primary importance.
  5. Safety - Support is available for both staff and residents.
  6. Openness - External relationships are sought and validated.
  7. Communication - It is recognised that people communicate in different ways.
  8. Development - There are opportunities to be spontaneous and try new things.
  9. Leadership - Leadership takes responsibility for the environment being enabling.
  10. Empowerment - Power and authority are open to discussion.

Our enabling environment

A fundamental aspect of treatment on the Beacon is the focus on the day to day therapeutic environment or milieu (every contact counts’ and ‘every interaction is a potential therapeutic interaction). The aim of this is to develop a culture which is aware of the role of current interactions as an opportunity to learn.  

We aim to do this by upholding the ten standards of an enabling environment (see above) allowing for a safe, supportive and enabling environment for all who live and work on the Beacon. We also run the further enabling the environment group which aims to maintain and enhance the enabling environment by working through areas of the Beacon that the community feel need further review.

The community have identified the following expectations which are inclusive of both staff and prisoners:

  • The need to respect each other’s right to privacy and personal space
  • The need to listen to and respect each other’s views/thoughts/feelings
  • To maintain confidentiality
  • The need to respect an individual’s right to engage in groups
  • To support and encourage each other to try new things and take positive risks
  • The need to create an environment where people feel confident to speak up
  • Everybody has a shared responsibility towards the environment
  • The need for individuals to feel valued on the Beacon
  • To ensure that people feel safe within the environment of the Beacon
  • The need for people to feel empowered