A DEVELOPING COMMUNITY SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
A Holistic Approach to Heal & Overcome Addiction
Inishfree is a drug free community providing accommodation, training and support for people recovering from
alcohol and drug addiction.
The focus is on giving people the opportunity to build trusting relationships within a community setting and
provide space, skills, education and support which help to maintain a healthy balanced life, leading towards
freedom and independence when returning to live and work in the wider community.
Moreover, Inishfree view this project as an innovative model of rural diversification in an area where there is
Sowing Seeds for a Healthy Future
Tel: 0845 458 9904
1. Why Community Life?
2. Inishfree 1-2 year Programme – 5 Phases
1 – 2 Years - All Seasons
PROGRAMME and HANDBOOK
N.B. This is subject to change
How the community Works
Assessments / Admissions / Support Plans/Health
Money and Finances
Rooms and communal areas
Reintegration / leaving
Why community life for people overcoming addiction?
Inishfree hopes to satisfy the individual needs of each human being on three different levels.
1. Physical Level - Work.
2. Emotional level - Therapies
3. Community Life - Social Level.
The reasons for working in this way are outlined below, followed by phases of the programme.
1. Physical Level - Work:
Physical exercise such as gardening, building and decorating can provide when achievable, a positive distraction
from cravings, a clear purpose and goal in daily life, and a self motivated contribution to the community, a feeling
that one is needed, which was not present before.
Exercise/work is also essential to help create day and night rhythms. Sleeping patterns have quite often been
disrupted for a considerably long time. Land based work provides education into agriculture, it can provoke a real
interest in working with the soil and plant life – which doesn’t confront or challenge the individual.
Building work is another focus for quite specific reasons. When a person has abused her / his body for many
years through either alcohol or drugs, their physical body is considerably run down and ‘beaten up’. The outer
picture of this would be reflected in neglected buildings. Careful dismantling and rebuilding of structures, using
imagination and hard work will give the individual an experience of transformation in their own hands. The
building work will not be how to do something quickly and cheaply, it is about creating something new, perhaps out
of something old, and learning skills like carpentry, building and design, working as part of a team, using good
quality materials and tools, bringing order out of neglect and chaos. This outer picture reflects the inner one,
and although the individual may not consciously know it, it is exactly what they themselves are doing for
themselves. The community on this level will surely shine, and is our sincere belief each individual will begin to
shine inwardly too.
A healthy balanced diet, using grains, pulses, fresh veg, fruit, etc support the physical body to gain strength. We
would promote cooking as an art rather than a chore, a picture also to counter the junk that was once put into
their bodies, to, maintaining a healthy ‘input’.
2. Emotional Level – Therapies:
Counselling and biography group work will also be central to the recovery process, but in a way that enables people
to digest the process rather than be overwhelmed by it. Looking back over one’s life would of course be part of
the counsellor’s input, but only after a time of stability, and when the trainee is ‘ready’ to take hold of it more
Artistic therapy, eurythmy/movement therapy, rhythmical massage and drama are brought in at different times,
based on individual needs medical advice and guidance.
3. Community Life - Social Level:
Living together in a supported environment, where others know exactly where you are coming from is
fundamental. For some who have lived in virtual isolation from the world, community life can help to address
those feelings of isolation.
Inishfree will provide a home environment that is safe, drug and alcohol free, with care and warmth of heart.
Our co-workers take a real pride in their work, providing positive role models.
Change cannot come about and then be maintained without a considerable amount of time spent developing on all
Inishfree 1 – 2 year programme – 5 phases of transition
The programme has been developed in such a way that it covers 5 phases over a period of 2 years. Each phase is
designed to accommodate the changing body, mind and emotional needs in the early and later stages. Physical
illness, panic, anxiety, shame and cravings, are very strong in the beginning, from the obvious distress
experienced in the withdrawal of poisonous substances. As time goes on this becomes less prolonged and less
intense. Slowly through the activities the emergence of a renewed sense of self outweighs the earlier symptoms.
By providing opportunities to an individual, through meaningful activities, and at the same time slowly building up
confidence and self-esteem, a true sense of one-self can begin to shine, and a future source of strength, meaning
and purpose can begin to grow.
‘Winter’ – ‘I am nobody’ ………………….coming in out of the cold/landing
0 - 12 weeks
‘Spring’ – ‘Who am I?’ …………………..landed!
3 – 6 months
‘Summer’ – ‘This is who I could be’………………………illusions
6 – 9 months
‘Autumn’ – ‘This is who I am’………..realistic optimism
9 – 12 months
‘All Seasons’ – ‘I am’……….a new step
12 – 24 months
Programme provision and expectations!
These initial weeks of arrival are more applicable for those coming straight from a detoxification programme,
where settling in and being held, providing a very high level of support is important. A new trainee would not be
left alone at any one time for the first 7 days.
The period for those coming from another programme would be individualised to need. The rules and regs for
this period would still apply. See Trainees Handbook.
Soon after arrival the Trainee will be provided with:
Suitable warm clothing and footwear for outdoor work activities if appropriate
Personal file for confidential documentation
Sketch book, pencils
Trainee’s Programme and Handbook
‘Winter’0 - 4 weeks: ‘I feel like I am a nobody’
The community will have a shared responsibility in ensuring the new trainee is not left alone
Adjusting and warming to a new way of life and environment
Initial focus on home making, establishing your own personal space and orientation
Being guided through the rhythm of the day in the home
No responsibilities except to be there, get up, and slowly integrate into the daily running of your new home
and helping especially in the kitchen / cleaning and social activities/community life / cultural activities
Daily exercise – light gardening/pottering
Taking care of the small things make a difference e.g. setting the table, watering plants, flowers on the table
and a candle etc
Therapies, social skills and personal development:
Massage weekly and in blocks depending on health needs
Sessional work once a week, non-confrontational
Keeping a journal throughout programme - at the end of each day, working with the following questions a)
what have I done well today? b) what was most difficult? c) What do I look forward to tomorrow?
Group activities – baking bread, story telling, crafts (evening)
Feeding the cats
Daily Review for the first week and key working sessions weekly
Assumptions and expectations:
As ‘Winter’ suggests this is a very cold time when each individual through his or her misuse of substances have
been out in the cold, isolated and excluded. Whatever the substance the effect on the body mind and emotional
life has a ’chilling out’ experience, and people have very little experience of warmth or cold. During prolonged
periods of misuse circulation is effected and people can be scantily dressed but have little sense of the
temperature outside, even when it’s very cold. Providing warmth and stimulating warmth is a fundamental need
for the rehabilitation of the physical body, through massage, wholesome food, rhythm exercises and warm
During this time, feelings and thoughts can be overwhelming to the extent of panic. Held in a warm supportive
environment where you will be given wholesome food, physical warmth, rest and a great deal of encouragement to
participate in light household chores, DIY and helping in the kitchen will help distract from aches and pains,
cravings and anxiety. Keeping occupied at an early stage is very important, and will be measured and monitored,
by co-workers and therapists.
First Phase cont. 4 – 12 weeks ‘Warming up and Landing’
4 week celebration, a community get together and, one without substances
Focus will remain on health and diet, building up physical body with nutritious food
Assisting in cooking, baking and food prep
Home making / cleaning / taking pride in the small things Other household activities e.g. laundry / ironing etc
DIY painting / decorating / light gardening work/having some fun as well!
Choosing a plant to observe throughout the year to sketch and make notes
Presentation at 8 weeks
Therapies, social skills and self-development:
Eurythmy / movement therapy once a week, group/individual
Art therapy introduced
No responsibilities except to engage
Reviews once a week
Self Development and Evaluation process through journal, individual work with therapists, community
feedback process and recording through review system
Assumptions and expectations:
In many respects landing back on ones own feet can be, the most painful and frightening experience in the
beginning, which is why your tasks will be slightly more demanding during the ‘landing’ phase. The community as a
whole will appreciate all your efforts especially where the smaller details are concerned, where you have taken a
great deal of care to create something that others may enjoy or appreciate. You will begin to sense the value in
your own contribution, however small. Replacing bad habits with good ones, and achieving a positive experience.
‘Spring’ 3 – 6 months…‘Who am I’…landed!
Maintaining house / catering / simple DIY
Preparing menus and observing budgeting with home maker / co-worker
Maintain outside working rhythms
Light gardening / physical exercise
Maintain plant observations
Composting / recycling / minor repairs and DIY
Presentation at 3 months entering a new phase
Therapies, social skills and self-development:
All other therapies maintained and individualised as necessary
No responsibilities, still guided by your tutor / co-worker
Individual work maintained / journal / working with questions
Assumptions and expectations:
Having survived the cold winter phase you will have been given more tasks and opportunities to explore your
potential and where your interests lie. ‘Spring’ is a picture of new growth, vulnerability, and positive change. Like
plants that are in bud they still need protection from the winter that is still present at times. The rhythm of
the day will be something you start to rely upon and look forward to. Eating, sleeping and work patterns start to
become a way of life after 6 months, simply because you have allowed yourself to ‘live through it’. Trust and
newly developed friendships will begin to grow through the challenge of working in a team, where conflict, anger
and frustration will be given the opportunity to work themselves through in a very real way. Confidence will be
growing, but only through an acceptance of your vulnerability. Like a bud that accepts its limitations and protects
itself as much as possible from the frosts, until the warmth of the sun reveals its secrets.
‘Summer’ 6–9months ‘This is who I could be’……illusions
Maintain working rhythm of the day e.g. market garden / DIY etc
To play a more responsible, active role in the communities decision making process / chairing / taking minutes
/ discussions etc
Making achievable goals with your co-worker / life skills tutor, in their specific area of expertise
Maintaining and consolidating your strengths in particular skills and routines attained
Working as part of a team / social skills / team building
Helping others, and becoming aware of the needs of others
Supporting the community and contributing in a very real way
Taking some responsibilities in areas where confidence has grown
Therapies, social skills and self-development:
Biography group work introduced if appropriate
All therapies maintained and individually assessed
Maintain individual journal work and further explore potential
Self development Group and evaluation ongoing through evidence based and feedback processes
Managing anger / conflicts / crisis points / social interaction
Assumptions and expectation:
You would have gone through many different points of crises e.g., birthdays, death anniversaries, seasonal,
cultural, family and friendship issues, reunions etc. You would have also experienced a great many feelings e.g.
panic, anxiety, depression, lethargy, shame, guilt etc. Getting to this stage will bring insight, enthusiasm, and a
sense of ‘I’m OK’. You would have gained skills and confidence along the way. This is a very dangerous time when
whole-heartedly you believe you can make it on your own now. Summer gives this outer picture of well-being, joy
and colour, everything is beautiful until the turn of autumn, and then another phase begins. When you reach your
height of optimism and express your need to leave, revisiting Winter is a harsh reality, but one that an individual
must go through to truly test your inner strength. This means going back to the ‘scene’ from whence you came, if
geographically possible. This will be given the utmost care and supervision. If you stay with us you will harvest
all the fruits that autumn can then bring.
‘Autumn’ 9-12months‘This is who I could be’
Maintaining all the established daily working rhythms
Developing potential and expertise in given trade/craft/vocation e.g. woodwork, weaving, farming, market
Starting to use ones own initiative still within the structure of the programme e.g. getting on with work
without supervision; arriving early!
Developing initiative outside the structured programme, (allotted time will be given for this as confidence
grows) e.g. develop initiative and own ideas, that are achievable and realistic e.g. landscape project, which
would involve sketching, walking the site, time scale, materials, equipment, costs and extra labour if needed.
It could potentially hold fundraising activities as well if costs couldn’t be provided by Inishfree
Contributing to the running of the community e.g. responsibilities might include such things as 1) ‘companion’
and guiding new trainees 2) working on one's own 3) chairing meetings and taking minutes, typing them up and
distributing 4) volunteering for extra work when others aren’t able to be there 5) animals welfare, cleaning
out and feeding 6) catering, food preparation, ordering and budgeting for community kitchen
Filling in applications
Exploring working as a volunteer on a neighbouring farm, or Camphill Community, meeting with local farmers
Therapies, social skills and self-development:
All therapies maintained and assessed individually
Counselling may become less and more focused on future vocation, setting goals etc
Self evaluation process ongoing
Maintain individual project work
Develop own ideas that can be encompassed into the Inishfree Programme when appropriate
Learning and developing awareness of working ecologically and economically in a healthy environment
Timetable change to accommodate more independent research for next steps
Assumptions and expectations:
The shear commitment and determination will be self-evident by the time you come to graduation. You will have
your own inspiration and initiative to take out into the world. It would have been a long hard, often painful and
frightening process, but you will be able to experience joy, achievement, ambition and motivation now, without
the need to suppress it or change it with substances. The ‘Autumn’ picture is one of harvesting the fruits of
your labour. The strength and quality of your labour will surely reflect. CONGRATULATIONS!
Structure – for the day of graduation:
An exhibition of your work:
Art / pottery / crafts
Sculpture - land / stone / nature
Written work / poetry / stories
A presentation to the community
A skit (optional but great fun)
Formal invitations to friends, family and community
Inishfree recommendations, progress reports and developments from Therapists / co-workers / volunteers:
Self development e.g. confidence / physical well being /achievements
The highs and the lows – all the crisis points and the joys
Future steps known and in place
References for work and certificates, presented by Inishfree co-worker / Trustees
REINTEGRATION - A NEW STEP
‘All Seasons’ 12 – 24 months
‘All Seasons’………..’I am’
Continue to reside within Inishfree community while working elsewhere:
You will have recommendation and references from having completed a 12 month ‘live and work’ programme
You will live more independently on site, (a caravan perhaps or something similar that’s appropriate)
Still attending community meetings and weekend activities
Still attending festival events and gatherings
There will be the opportunity to contribute to the community still where needed, but now more on a voluntary
basis and co-worker level
Working voluntary 9.30 – 4.00 on neighbouring farm/s or other similar enterprises, where support is needed
and fits with Inishfree's "eco friendly" ethos
You will have a good command of a healthy diet, food prep, hygiene and cooking
You will have gained budgeting skills and money management
You have gained a sense of responsibility, commitment and time-keeping for the future
Live independently in local community and work as a volunteer co-worker at Inishfree
Living in shared family situation or independent if appropriate,
References and housing support provided to find accommodation
Taking on a more guiding role where new trainees are concerned
Assisting other co-workers and life skill tutors
Developing some further skills e.g. IT / study material / keeping records / sharing admin duties
Learning to drive – tractor / car / minibus
Attending meetings connected with the community outside
Reporting and gathering information from statutory meetings
Live and work in local community, set up a business/enterprise/coop with others, while still gaining support and
guidance from Inishfree
Window cleaning business for example
Setting up an organic market garden
Creating a social enterprise – mixing skills/expertise/passion/art and crafts
Assumptions and expectations:
At this stage it is fair to say you have done exceedingly well, achieving and changing so much in your life that was
unhealthy. It is also fair to say there will always be storms to weather in winter and shade to be sought in
summer, and so long as you protect the buds in spring, the fruit in autumn will come.
I am well. I am enthusiastic. I have training. I am employable. My
future is looking good!
INTRODUCTION - WHAT IS INISHFREE?
The name Inishfree comes from a poem written by W.B. Yeats, called ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’. Set in County
Sligo in Western Ireland, the poem denotes a sense of one who recognises the moment in time, when suddenly
they feel compelled to take a different direction in life, and leave everything else behind, except the strongest
motivation and will impulse to find something new. The poem speaks about a time then, when one can simply be
oneself and in nature and at peace with oneself. It also reflects the memory of that event later in life, ‘on
pavements gray I hear it in the deep heart’s core.’ as a source of hope, strength and nourishment.
Every human being needs this connection with the earth, whether it is through planting and growing, eating and
drinking, breathing and experiencing, waking and sleeping or simply enjoying the wonders of the natural world. In
today’s society we take so much for granted and have lost touch with what is essential. Inishfree endeavours to
bring something of this substance, and make it available to those that need it now. The poem is as follows:
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings,
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
Inishfree offers something profoundly different to all other rehabilitation centres. Its uniqueness is to bring
about a sense of social responsibility and economic change, in an environment where there is prejudice and
discrimination for those labelled ‘addict’ for life, and regeneration, diversification and support for the farming
industry that has lost heart.
So welcome to Inishfree! We hope you’ll enjoy your stay here. Because we are a new initiative part of your 12
months stay with us will be assisting in the transition between this place of residence and the farm we are trying
to rent in the near future. Our aim is to provide a safe and supporting environment wherever we are so that you
can address your addiction problem, learn new ways to handle your life and have some fun along the way.
Inishfree is a Social Enterprise, registered charity, and a company not for profit limited by guarantee.
Our approach is a holistic one based on a 12-month residential community programme founded on the principles
and indications brought through Anthroposophy and the work of Rudolf Steiner.1
We are not part of Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or the 12 Step approach though we acknowledge
this approach works for some.
So the main aim of all trainees will be to:
Engage with all work/craft/artistic/therapeutic activities
Involve helping each other, seeking to understand each other, caring for each other and sharing thoughts and
feelings with each other, and this means more than just sharing facilities
Gain insight and deeper understanding of your past addictive behaviour through living and working together,
while contributing time and skills towards the well being of the community
Anthroposophy or ‘awareness of one’s humanity’ is a path of knowledge and self-development, which encompasses
the realms of religion, philosophy, art and science.
Show commitment and enthusiasm for the ethos of the programme
Meet the needs of the wider community e.g. farmers, disabled people, ‘rescue animals’ schools, markets and
the economic needs of our environment
Develop your potential towards a self directed future
How the Community Works
You will meet all members of our Community within the first week or so. You will be given a contact person who is
a co-worker and a companion (buddy system), who is a trainee on admission. Your companion is there to support
you, and your co-worker will want to have regular ‘one to one’ sessions with you. If you need anything or are unsure
of anything you can ask either of them for guidance. They are there to help you settle in. Your companion plays
an important role in these early months watching over you, reassuring you and simply being there for you. Your
co-worker will oversee this.
Inishfree has a structured time table, from early morning right up until bedtime, but there is time when trainees
will be given free time for their individual project work within the framework of our organised activities. There
will be time given to orientate yourself on arrival and you will gradually be integrated/guided through the rhythm
of the day and the week. You will not be left alone at any time during the first 3 months, and your companion will
Your stay will be reviewed regularly (see License agreement).
All individuals will be referred to as ‘trainees’. You will be given opportunities to learn different vocational and
social skills and further your education and self-development.
You are not an ‘addict’ for life and will be met as an individual who wants to address their addiction problems. You
are a human being first and foremost!
Artistic Therapy, Eurythmy/Movement Therapy, Rhythmical Massage and Biographical Counselling will be
scheduled into the timetable to suit individual needs.
Crafts/drama/leisure/project-work are also included in the evening timetable.
As you can see from the timetable, trainees will be expected to participate in the outside work programme most
days during the week. We will expect you to get up and breakfast together with the whole community and be
ready by 8.45am to sing and prepare for the community meeting at 9.00. This meeting is held twice a day to look
at the day’s work schedule and discuss any problems. The community meeting held later in the day is for
reviewing how the day went. This is a supportive meeting as well as where issues can be brought to the attention
of co-workers, and feedback given.
This meeting will have an agenda and be recorded in the Log Book. Everyone has to attend. The structure is as
Community Meeting Agenda
Verse/poem/thought for the day
Echoes from the night
Work schedule for the day
Appointments / information /questions / A.O.B.
Saturdays will be our ’at home’ day with some free time, time for chores, baking bread for the week, baking
biscuits, cakes etc. and leisure activities, scheduled walks, etc. Sundays will be a quiet day for individual work and
reflection. There will only be a community meeting once a day at the weekend: on Saturday to review the whole
week, and on Sunday to look forward to the week ahead.
As part of the evening activities there might be guests invited for supper to talk about their spiritual path, their
passion or other matters of interest.
We hope to answer all your questions in the next sections.
1. ASSESSMENT - ADMISSION - SUPPORT PLANS -HEALTH
Inishfree will invite you to meet and spend at least 2-3 hours with us, and we will do an assessment during
that time. You will be included for lunch / supper, and have an opportunity to meet the other trainees when
possible. We will let you know the outcome of our decision within 24 hours. It is sometimes suitable to give
you a 24 hour trial period that will be extended if appropriate.
If you need time to think about your decision, we would normally expect to hear from you within 24 hours.
If we find that Inishfree is not the right place for you at the moment we will let you know and give you the
reasons why we think so. We will also do as much as we can to help you find alternative accommodation or
treatment. Reasons will be given and there is a Right to Appeal against the decision
You have a right to appeal against our decision. Please ask the person who assessed you how to go about it.
See policies regarding criteria for eligibility guidelines and assessment procedures for more details. You
should have received these when you first contacted us.
If all goes well you can move in immediately:
Signing up to a License Agreement and Programme
You will be claiming Housing Benefit once you are here, so you need to make a new claim and give up your
present claim if you have one
There will be a full Induction into our Policies and available after admission
We will establish your support needs in the first week after your arrival and write up an initial Support Plan which
will take into account your own views regarding your needs for support as they become clearer through the daily
If you are not happy with any aspect of your support plan or you need to review it with a support worker, you can
ask for a review at any time. We will be happy to arrange a time and look at it with you and consider your views.
You will need to register with our local medical practice in Stroud after residing for 4 weeks. St. Luke’s is an
Anthroposophical Medical Centre which is working to the same principles as Inishfree. We will be working
together with your Doctor where your health is concerned. Your health is important and homeopathic remedies
can be very helpful in the recovery process. We would therefore want you to register and receive treatment
there. However, to protect all trainees and the project we do have some rules about medication.
A co-worker / volunteer will accompany trainees’ to the doctor’s and, will normally sit in on the consultation. It is
important that we work with the Doctor and give him a full picture of your health so that he can give you the best
medical advice. Any prescriptions given must be shown to the co-worker. You should not take any medication
without the knowledge of co-workers. This includes medicines which you can buy over the counter, many of which
can be a serious threat to recovery.
Inishfree Community cannot accommodate people who need mind altering or addictive medication; this includes
benzodiazepan, anti-psychotics and narcotic based painkillers. If it is essential to your wellbeing to take such
medication you will need to leave Inishfree. Your doctor will be aware of this.
You need to take responsibility for any medicines you need and you should make sure they are kept securely for
your use only. Medicines of any kind must not be shared, even homeopathic.
We have in the past worked with those that have physically hurt themselves, and we shall not evict anyone for
doing so. However if the community become aware and disturbed by it, we would have to take that into
consideration together as a community. See rules and regs in next Section 2.
We take food issues and nutrition seriously. Please see Rules and Regs in next Section 2.
2. HOUSE RULES AND REGS
Inishfree can be a safe place for you and others only if trainees do not use or possess alcohol or drugs on or off
From time to time there will be someone who breaks this rule. If you know someone is using or has used drugs or
alcohol whilst being a trainee it is essential that you tell co-workers about it. A using addict in your home puts
everyone at risk, with perhaps fatal consequences to the relapsing trainee. It is in everyone’s interest that co-
workers are informed in order to keep Inishfree a safe place. We know that people often think this is “grassing”
but if you are serious about your recovery you will understand the need to inform co-workers. If you know, but
don’t tell us, your stay will be reviewed and you could be asked to leave. We have a policy of random testing.
Trainees who do not co-operate with this will be asked to leave.
It is in your interest to make sure you know and understand all the house rules. When rules are broken there are
serious consequences that could lead to a dismissal. We will not accept pleas of ignorance. We have tried to keep
our rules sensible and we hope you will understand that they exist to protect you, other trainees’ and the project.
We reserve the right to change them when necessary. We would of course give each trainee a revised copy.
Alcohol & Drugs
Trainees must not consume, possess or attempt to obtain drugs or alcohol, on or off the premises.
Trainees aware of someone breaking this rule must inform co-workers
Trainees must submit to a drugs/alcohol test when asked to do so
Smoking is an addictive drug and substitute and there needs to be a willingness to address all addictive behaviour.
We will offer you support around this.
Smoking is to be done discreetly and on one’s own. No rolling up in the house. Smoking is to be done without
the comfort of any food or drink
No smoking in the house or on the threshold.
No smoking during any scheduled activity, inside or outside
Coffee, Sugar, T.V., Eating,
These are also addictive and can be used as substitute stimulants, which we take seriously and treat with the
utmost respect in a recovery process
No television in the house, nor is one allowed to be brought in (we cannot store it either)
Self discipline and observation of your cravings where coffee and sugar consumption are concerned is
essential if you take your addiction to substances seriously
No eating between meals (bingeing, stealing or hoarding) we want to help you with these issues so that
honesty and observation of your craving, needs, hunger and desires are essential
Possessions and belongings
Due to the nature of our work suitable warm clothing is essential, especially for outdoor activities. Warm
clothing, footwear, rain gear will be provided if possible.
What you wear has in most cases been tied up with your addiction and in the first instance of recovery needs
to be in the past context and not brought into the new present situation. If clothing is noticeably
characteristic of that time we will discuss the issue with you.
No music systems
No private cars
No mobile phones or pagers etc
No pornographic material to be displayed or brought into the house
Violence and abuse
We will not tolerate violence whether actual or threatened. This includes bullying, harassment of any kind and
abusive language intimidating another.
Post and telephone
Personal post can be distressing/threatening/provoking. In the first 3 months of arrival you will need a co-
worker to be present at all times when opening mail. Your Counsellor/Co-worker will need to know the content
of a letter, but you will be asked to give your consent prior to admission.
On arrival you will be given a private folder to file official letters and you will be ultimately responsible for
their safety. Copies can be kept in the office at your request
There is no contact via the phone with family/friends for the first 3 months. Official calls can be arranged.
You will be informed of incoming calls from family and friends but we will not pass on massages to or from
When you arrive at Inishfree, family and friends will be relieved you are somewhere safe and dealing with your
addiction. You will need to recognise their recovery also. All trainees will need to accept that those loved ones
will also need time and space apart from you to get their lives back together as well. A seriously long break is
necessary on both sides and we deem vital in the recovery process.
Inishfree will provide ongoing support and information for that period, and with your consent
Only in exceptional circumstances will we agree visits in the first 12 weeks of your stay
Visits must be agreed with your Counsellor/co-worker before you make arrangements with your visitors
We generally only allow visitors at weekends. The frequency of visits needs to be discussed with your co-
If you are a parent, children wishing to see you will be prioritised at an earlier stage and, ONLY when a child is
asking. Parents will need to address their own needs through the support of the community and their Counsellor
and not expect their children to fulfil their needs as a parent. This can be an extremely distressing time for
your children and we would want to help in the facilitating of reunions (if children are asking to see you),
especially when children have been frightened or worried by their parents behaviour through substance misuse.
Any concerns you have around contact with family will be explored and agreed prior to admission.
Leaving the premises
It is important to highlight that in respect of the premises we deem this your home, and it is shared with others
as their home too. You will be living here for up to 12 months or longer depending on your needs. This can be
extended in 2 different ways. See Reintegration Section 7.
We are very conscious of the fact that relapse can happen in the most unlikely of circumstances, like feeling
confident. We leave nothing to chance or luck. Your well-being for the future rests in our knowledge of what
works, and going out alone too soon is a high risk until you are at least 12 months stable, no matter how well you
have done, or feel.
Trainees are not allowed to leave the property at any time during their stay without the agreement of the
programme manager or project co-ordinator. If a trainee needs to leave for an appointment etc. they will
need to be accompanied by a senior trainee or co-worker. The period for which this rule lasts is 6 months
after admission but will depend on individual circumstances.
Weekends are still held within the framework of the programme
Overnight absences should be regarded as very exceptional and will only be allowed after a minimum of 6
Consequences of breaking the rules
Any breaking of rules will result in your stay being reviewed. In some circumstances your stay will be ended
immediately, in others you will first receive a warning.
Instant dismissal will always follow from any of the following behaviours –
Use or possession etc. of drugs or alcohol.
Attempting to obtain drugs or alcohol.
Not informing co-workers of the knowledge of another resident’s use or possession of drugs or alcohol.
Not informing co-workers of the knowledge of another resident’s attempt to obtain drugs or alcohol.
The use or threat of violence
Using the house for an illegal purpose
Endangering the project or the progress of other trainees
Sexual involvement with other trainees
Sexual/racial/ harassment of another trainee or co-worker
In other circumstances co-workers/the community will consider whether negotiating or dismissal is appropriate.
Trainees’ responsibilities – code of ‘decent behaviour’
We will not tolerate deliberate bullying or intimidation of other trainees or co-workers. The use of repeated bad
language, being generally loud in communal areas are examples of behaviour that would be unacceptable. You must
always consider other trainees and behave in such a way that others are not annoyed, upset or offended.
Appointments for doctors, nurses, dentists, court, probation, etc. should not be made at times when
meetings are held. You should ensure that all appointments are done together with a co-worker who will
be able to advise you on appropriate times and entered in the office diary.
Early recovery is a very stressful time. There is usually much anxiety about the past and the future. Existing
relationships are often strained. If you are in a relationship when you come to Inishfree, it is important to
discuss it with a co-worker. Relationships can often make early recovery more complicated than it need be.
For this reason we will not accept you entering into a new relationship whilst you are in early recovery. We
recognise that feelings can arise and we want you to feel able to talk to your Counsellor/co-worker about them.
However, this should be done before you act on your feelings.
Relationships, which form between trainees, which are of a sexual nature, will put your recovery at risk for both
of you, and will create tensions in the Community, putting others at risk. For this reason we will not accept sexual
relationships between trainees, nor will we allow exclusive relationships. By this we mean a relationship which
excludes other trainees and which is likely to distract from giving the programme your full attention.
Trainees are not allowed in each other’s bedrooms as all bedrooms are shared this could always infringe on
some one else’s privacy.
Trainees found in bed together or in a sexually intimate position may be asked to leave. This applies to
heterosexual and homosexual relationships.
Trainees are not allowed to enter into new relationships whilst living at Inishfree
Exclusive relationships will be challenged
4. MONEY AND FINANCES
You will be aware that all your finances will be paid into Inishfree Account because ‘cash triggers relapse’. Your
personal allowance will be recorded and should cover travel costs for personal purposes for example, weekend
leisure, personal shopping, hospital and dental appointments. However, where it is convenient we will do our best
to give you lifts, but you will have to contribute to the cost.
At a later stage of your programme when you will have to manage your own finances (cash) borrowing and lending
of money is discouraged. We all need to learn how to manage our money. You may not be the only one who someone
is borrowing from. They could be getting into serious debt.
Income from Trainees
Our income comes from charging a rent and support costs for your stay. This is met partly by you, partly from
voluntary input, and partly from other sources.
Your responsibility is to claim Housing Benefit and Income Support to cover your obligation for rent; support
needs food and service charges. We will help you complete the forms. Housing Benefit and Income
Support/Incapacity Benefit will be paid direct into our accounts.
As well as the rent we also make a charge, which is a contribution towards food, light and heat in your room,
transport and towards your therapies. Your co- worker will tell you how much this is currently — it is also shown in
the licence agreement. You will receive a personal allowance of £18.50 per week for your personal needs like
tobacco, toiletries etc. A record of your spending will be kept in the office. You will get a statement of your
balance fortnightly. ( see money handling policy)
To feel at home
Be treated with dignity and respect by all members of the community
Live in the house, free from harassment, prejudice, or discrimination
To be consulted and involved in the day to day running of the project
Use the communal facilities of the house
Have all your belongings back that were imparted to Inishfree on admission
Have information about personal interests
See any documents that we produce about you and to keep all official documentation
Make a complaint about the service you receive and to be given a reply to that complaint and be informed of
the action that we will take.
You also have a right to appeal against any decisions which have been taken to support your goals. We do
however assume that our principal support plan as outlined in the programme and this handbook are
understood by you before you enter into the programme.
6. ROOMS AND COMMUNAL AREAS
You are responsible for the cleanliness and tidiness of your bedroom. Fresh bed linen is available in the cupboard.
All Trainees are expected to wash their own bed linen and either re-use it or place it clean in the cupboard.
There will be a rota for household cleaning. You will be expected to clear up after yourself generally and not
leave it for others. Remember that others use the same bathroom and toilet so please make sure you leave them
You will not be able to lock your room and co-workers will have the right to enter your room if there is any
suspicion of drugs/alc. This will usually be with your prior consent. There will be a weekly room check for health
and safety purposes.
7. REINTEGRATION AND LEAVING
People who successfully complete their stay here will have the option to join our reintegration programme for up
to further 12 months depending on your needs and available placements on a voluntary basis. There will be 2
Living locally and taking on a volunteering role within the Inishfree project, once the farm is in place
To keep your residence with Inishfree (might be a caravan) and work elsewhere
There will be ongoing support from Inishfree Community whether you go on to our scheme or not. We positively
encourage this contact if trainees remain clean and sober, or are struggling.
We may need to place restrictions on the return of people whose leaving is not planned.
We are working towards supporting local farmers and providing placements on farms that may also provide
accommodation should you need it.
Setting up a Cooperative with other trainees’ is also an option when you leave. This would involve providing
different trades, materials, products for local needs and interests.
However, when you leave Inishfree you should take all your personal belongings with you. Any goods left will be
safely stored for one month. Please contact us within that month to arrange to collect your goods. We will have to
dispose of the goods one month after your departure if you do not make any arrangements to collect them.
We will have a limited number of library books, which you are free to borrow.
There is only one telephone line, which is for office use from 9-5 Monday – Friday. Please be thoughtful when
using this phone, don’t hog the time for yourself. Telephones in the office are for management use only.
Arrangements for phone calls need to be planned and scheduled outside office hours unless it is an official call.
See Rules and Regs Section 2.
The post will only be handed to a co-worker; we will then distribute it as soon as possible. If you are not around it
will be kept in the office and you will need to ask for it on your return. For all those admitted immediately post
detoxification please see our rules and regs admissions policy.
A washing machine is provided for your use. In dry weather please hang washing outside to dry. Please be aware
that others will want to use it without having to empty it first. A rota might be in operation.
We cannot, generally speaking, accommodate pets. We have 2 cats, 2 sheep, 9 chickens and a beehive, who will
need your loving care and attention.
We will have a ‘safe keeping’ facility for small valuable items. It will be at your own personal risk, Inishfree
cannot take responsibility for loss or damage.
9. ADVOCACY - If you need help in dealing with Government or Council Departments etc. please ask your co-
worker. We will support Liasing with family and friends, Social Workers, Probation, or any other individual or
statutory bodies if needed or necessary.INISHFREE’S POLICIES:
All policies are available and are kept in a file in the dining room bookshelf for your
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Saturday/Sunday
7.00 Wake up call/Breakfast
8:30 Community Meeting
9.15 Plant observation 9.00 Breakfast followed by houseclean on
9.30 Start work / Gardening /Kitchen/ Building /
11:00-11.30 Coffee break
1.00 Main Meal
1.45 Rest Ceramics on Saturdays
3.00 Work Walk on Sundays fortnightly
6.00 Supper 6.00 Supper
6.30 Community Meeting (Review of the day) Review of the week
7.30 Social Activities: Art/Drama group/study/board Journal/Leisure activity
9:30 Bedtime drinks/Journal
10:3 To bed
11.0 Lights out