For young people

What to expect on admission

When you arrive on the unit, you will be welcomed by members of the team and shown around the unit. A meeting will take place with a doctor and a nurse so they can answer any questions you might have and admit you to the ward. They will also ask you questions to gain a better understanding of how you are feeling and what you are going through.

Physical examination

As well as supporting young people with their mental health needs, staff will also monitor their physical wellbeing. This means you will be asked to have a physical health check by one of our doctors soon after you arrive at the Beacon Centre.

Your bedroom

Whilst at the Beacon Centre you will have you own room with an en-suite bathroom. The bathroom has a shower, toilet and sink. Each room also has a large chalkboard and you are encouraged to personalise this to help make the room your own.

What do I need to bring?

  • comfortable clothing for no more than 7 days
  • books (no wire bound or stapled)
  • posters/photographs/cards
  • MP3/ iPod (without a camera or recording facilities)
  • toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash toothbrush and toothpaste (no aerosols)
  • 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)

During your admission you will be given your own locker in the nursing station for any valuables you might have with you. We would not encourage you to bring anything of value onto the ward.

A day in the life of the Beacon Centre

The young people’s timetable is updated every week. The Occupational Therapy (OT) team organise the activities out of school hours with input from the young people given at the weekly Young Person’s Forum.


The typical structure of a day at the Beacon Centre is: 

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.

Search policy

In order to keep young people safe on the ward staff will need to search their belongings when they arrive and after they return from leave in the community. Sometimes this will mean they ask young people to remove shoes and coats so they can be searched. Young people have a right to be present during the search of their belongings and all personal searches will be conducted with the rights and dignity of the young person as a priority.

Some items are not allowed on the ward, click here to view our prohibited items poster