Whilst the nature of the service does curtail some of the freedoms young people would normally enjoy, their rights and wishes are no less important. Regular meetings to consult with young people occur frequently and may be concerned with day-to-day living arrangements and activities. Also regular consultation occurs regarding the food provided, with young people choosing menus (with guidance regarding nutrition and diet). All young people have access to a range of individuals / organisations (e.g. Voice) who they can raise and discuss issues of concern.
Young people are actively encouraged to contribute and attend all meetings and are given access to the content of all reports written about them, where this is deemed appropriate. Young people are encouraged to discuss their views on their own behaviour on an indivudual basis after tea.
The service is able to accompany young people to attend religious services or to receive religious instruction within Clare Lodge. Staff are cognisant of the various religious / cultural needs of the young people and can accommodate all dietary and other personal requirements. Staff endeavour to encourage the continuity of existing religious customs and observances, subject to the wishes of the individual. Key religious texts, prayer mats, etc are kept at Clare Lodge for use by young people as and when required.
Young people may raise concerns they have at any time and may choose to do this in private with any person. All matters raised are taken seriously with every effort being made to resolve and reach agreement with the young people. All young women are made aware of how to raise concerns, access "Voice" advocates, or to complain formally. Whilst attempts are always made to resolve concerns as close to the point of origin as possible, should this not prove possible the complaints processes of either Peterborough City Council or the placing authority may be used, or alternatively, the matter may be referred to Voice. Ultimately, if still not resolved, the complainant has the option to approach Ofsted.
Within Clare Lodge, young people have access to a confidential "post box " system through which they may raise issues of concern. Managers within Clare Lodge respond to each matter raised within a maximum of five working days. All young women are given information (the Young People's Handbook) about how to comment on or complain about the care being received. Placing social workers are also informed of all complaints made.
Parents/carers are similarly given information advising them how to complain or comment on the services provided.
Exit interviews / questionnaires are also used to gain views at the end of each placement.
Clare Lodge offers a range of opportunities for young people to engage themselves in recreational and sporting activities. The Lodge has a purpose built gymnasium, fitness suite and outdoor recreational areas. Young people are provided with information on maintaining a healthy lifestyle by staff and through the education, extended learning and health programmes offered by the service. This includes the availability of a fitness instructor to each young person who can assist with individual programmes of healthy exercise, diet and fitness.
A range of activities are made available, particularly during holiday periods, including bouncy castles, keep fit, visiting craft / activity co-ordinators, birds of prey, reptiles, theatre groups. In addition a range of more solitary / quiet activities (i.e. make up, library, etc.) can be made available.