For Parents/Carers


The Beacon Centre team understand how difficult an admission to hospital can be not only for the young person coming to the ward but also for their loved ones. When parents or carers arrive at the Beacon Centre on the day of admission, we aim to ensure a member of staff is available to meet with you. If admission is between Monday to Friday 9-5pm working hours, parents and carers will most likely be met by a Doctor or Nurse to gather information and obtain their views. This will also allow staff to provide more detail about the admission process. If admission is outside of this working pattern, the medical team will arrange a meeting with parents and carers as soon as possible.

What to bring

It is important that when a young person is admitted to The Beacon Centre they have personal items to help them settle. Staff will ask to search any of the young people's belongings brought onto the unit. This is done in order to help staff keep the young people on the ward safe.

Suggested items

  • Comfortable clothing for no more than 7 days
  • Young people also have access to a personal snack box in the Young Person’s kitchen where they may keep some treats if they wish (please keep these as healthy as possible)
  • Books (no wired bound or stapled)
  • Posters, photographs, cards
  • MP3/iPod  (without a camera or recording facilities)
  • Toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothbrush, toothpaste (no aerosols)

Young person’s Travel card (or Oyster card)

We often take the young people out on trips. It is extremely helpful and cost effective for us if the young person brings the travel card onto the unit.


We do not encourage young people to bring valuable items on the unit as we cannot take any responsibility for items that may be lost or stolen. If the young person must bring a valuable item onto the unit, we will request you and they sign a disclaimer acknowledging The Beacon Centre does not take responsibility for possible loss or damage.

Spending money

Young people can bring a small amount of money onto the unit. We recommend up to £10. This is kept in their locker in the nursing office. Young people are not encouraged to keep money on their person.

Electrical items

It is ok to bring items onto the unit, such as hairdryers, straighteners, electrical toothbrushes and chargers; however, these items will be kept in lockers. 

Due to the nature of the unit, there are some items that are not permitted at The Beacon Centre:

  • Sharp objects, e.g. knives, metal objects, razor blades, pencil sharpeners
  • Weapons
  • Cigarettes, lighters, matches
  • Over 18 material including magazines/DVDs
  • Pirate DVDs/CDs
  • Blu tac
  • Chewing gum
  • Caffeinated substances 
  • Weapons (guns)
  • Alcohol (or alcohol-based products)
  • Aerosol cans
  • Metal cans
  • Oil burners, candles, incense sticks
  • Energy drinks
  • Drugs/ illegal substances
  • Plastic bags
  • Glass bottles or glass objects

This list is not exhaustive, and all property will be assessed according to individual risk.

Beacon's downstairs lounge

Staying on the unit

Each young person has their own bedroom and ensuite bathroom. The bedroom area is located on the first floor of the unit. Bedrooms may be accessed during the day; however we encourage young people to remain downstairs from 8.30am - 8pm to take part in the education and therapy programme. This is to encourage engagement and support a structured daily routine.

The typical structure of a day at the Beacon Centre

8am Young people are woken up

8.30am Medication and self- care

9.15am - 9.45am Breakfast and School Prep

9.45am - 12.15pm: Young people are expected to attend education lessons provided by teachers from Northgate School. The participation in education is assessed according to individual needs and abilities.

12.15pm -  12.45pm: Lunch. There are two main meals offered at lunch and these options are changed daily. If your child has any dietary requirements (including Halal and Kosher) please inform a member of staff so we can incorporate this into what food is offered to them. Depending on the needs of your child, they may have a meal plan which is formulated by the young person and the Dietician.

12.45pm - 1.15pm- Community Meeting. This meeting is therapeutic in nature and discusses feelings and thoughts about being in the Beacon Centre and how we share the space.

1.30pm -  3.15pm Education (Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs); Therapy groups (Fri)

3.15pm - 5pm Therapy Groups or Activities

5pm - 5.30pm Dinner

5.30pm -  8pm Visiting Time (or Activities see timetable)

8pm - Wind down time

Please note all meal times are protected time and we encourage people to respect this, nurses will not be available to take telephone calls or deal with enquiries at this time.

Beacon's education suite Entrance to the ward Music therapy at The Beacon Centre Beacon Centre garden