You have to be flexible. I work on a low secure ward for men with personality disorders, they've got complex needs but I love the level of interaction. Sometimes people have issues: they can't mix or may need to be 'talked down' from a crisis. We're well trained in supporting people with behaviour that challenges and we trust each other.
Most days I'm on the ward. Although the men are detained because of their forensic histories some have leave to be taken out shopping or for a ramble.
Football is a real highlight. Every month there's a five-a-side tournament with service users from across the region - a proper local league.
At nine o'clock the minibus arrives. The lads are always up and eager, there's a great build up. We've a bit of friendly rivalry but there are free transfers to other teams if they are a man short and need to make up numbers. No one's scored against their own team yet but sometimes they go in the other side's nets. It's good to see people who need order and structure in their lives being adaptable. There's never any trouble, just a brilliant full day's play and sometimes a takeaway going back. If I'm not down to work, i'll come anyway. The lads are proper appreciative!
It's really special supporting the men on a home visit. It's great watching them making connections with their families again. Just sharing a meal with one of the lads and his parents, after what they've been through, it's brilliant.