What happens at Collingham?

At Collingham Child and Family Centre, we have a school day between 9.00am and 3.30pm. Children go to the classrooms during this time where they work in small groups. There are usually only six children in a group with at least two adults to help.

Children will also have one-to-one time with doctors, psychologists, therapists and nurses. During this time, the staff might talk with you about your thoughts and any difficulties. The doctors will look after your health, and will think with you and your family about whether medicines might be helpful to you.

In the evenings, the children have lots of things to do. There are plenty of toys and games, a pool table and computers. Children help out with chores and sometimes have homework. We ask all parents or carers to phone children each evening between 6pm and 8pm and to visit on a Wednesday evening if possible. Children sometimes go out to the shops and local parks or other places after school as well.

We have rules which help to make Collingham a safe and friendly place to be. The three most important rules are:

  1. Respecting others. This means no bullying. People come in all shapes, sizes, skin colour, and with different religious practices and speaking different languages. Whoever we are and whatever our views are, we are all equally important. We should learn from one another.
  2. Keeping myself and others safe. This means no hitting or hurting others. When you feel angry or upset, find a safe place to calm down and speak to the staff.
  3. Respecting property. This means not breaking anything. We will ask you or your parents/carers to pay for any damage to property.

There are other rules about bedtimes, which are different depending on your age. There are also rules about when children can play on the pool table or use the computer, and of course there are rules when you are in school. We will explain more about these when you arrive.

School and activities

There are three classrooms at Collingham Child and Family Centre. They are called the Red Group, the Blue Group and the Green Group.

Each child is put into one of the groups where they can work with children who are doing the same level of work at school. Each group has a teacher and a nurse to help you when you need it.

Here is a copy of the timetable:

7.30am – Getting up
8.00am – Breakfast
9.15am – Session 1
10.15am – Break
10.45am – Session 2
11.30am – Session 3
12.30pm – Lunch and play
1.30pm – Session 4
2.30pm – Session 5
3.30pm – Break
4.00pm – Free time
5.00pm – Dinner
5.45pm – Evening activities
7.30pm – Bathtime
8.30pm – Bedtime and stories

Some of the activities that happen at Collingham include:

  • Swimming. Once a week, all children go to a local pool for swimming lessons
  • Cookery group. Sometimes, children can choose to cook their own meals and go out to buy the ingredients.
  • Horse riding. Each week, some children may go to stables for a horse riding lesson.
  • Discussion group. This is a time for children to have their say about things that are happening in the centre. You can make suggestions about how things could be done differently.
  • Special time. Once a week, we have a special time meeting where we think about goals. We present a medal to the person who has worked especially hard throughout the week on their goals.
  • Music. A musician comes to the centre once a week and helps children to play musical instruments or to sing.
  • Pottery group. There is a pottery room where children can make things out of clay. We have a kiln so the pottery can be fired and glazed and taken home.

What happens during school holidays?

The centre remains open for most school holidays. We may close the unit to inpatients for a few days between Christmas and New Year and during the second week of the summer holiday. Collingham is closed at weekends and bank holidays.

During school holidays there is a chance to do lots of fun activities with the staff. In the summer, we take the children away on a holiday to an adventure centre. All the children love this holiday as they get to do lots of exciting things.

Your stay

What clothing should I bring?

At Collingham, we do lots of activities and have a lot of fun during the day. It is important that you do not bring your best clothes and that you wear shoes that you can play in. You should also bring a swimming costume. Please don’t bring in things that are valuable, such as computer games, as there are plenty at the centre. We do not allow children to bring anything which may be dangerous to you or to other children.

Where will I sleep?

Most children share a bedroom with another child but you may be able to choose to have a room on your own. If you share a room, boys will always share with boys, and girls with girls.

We would like you to bring posters, photos, favourite duvet covers, and your favourite cuddly toys with you to Collingham so that your bedroom reminds you of home.

Children go to bed between 8.30pm and 9pm. Two members of the nursing team are awake all night long to look after you and help you if you feel worried about anything.

What will happen on my first day at Collingham?

On your first day, you and your parents or carers will meet a doctor and nurse. We will talk to your parents or carers to learn more about you, from when you were born up until now.

The doctor will check on your physical health, and do things like listen to your chest or feel your tummy. They will talk with you about any worries you may have and the reasons that you are coming to Collingham. We will give you a copy of a care plan which explains what will happen during your stay.

Once you have met the staff who will be looking after you during your time at Collingham, you will say goodbye to your parents or carers until their next visit. It may feel strange at first but you will quickly make friends and start to have fun.