What some of our partners say about who we are and what we do

Testimonial from Christ Hospital School
Dear John - For your testimonial:

‘Restorative justice approaches at Christ’s Hospital School in Horsham have had an enormous impact on the entire culture of the school. Gone are the days of detentions, resentment and writing lines; instead poor behaviour and choices are reflected upon, discussed and understood. The pupils now feel fairly treated, valued and cared for (by both the staff and each other!) and negative behaviour patterns and cycles have been interrupted and broken down. The school is happier, healthier and a more forgiving place to be and our pupils are armed with skills and values that will carry them positively through life and enable them to navigate the challenging times and relationships ahead with confidence and ease. We could not be more pleased.’Hope this helps.See you soon! Jo

Please see below another testimonial with regards John Swindell's work in Christ Hospital School - We are very fortunate to have John as a member of our team, helping our mission in Portsmouth.

John Swindell is a mentor and restroative justice consultant to PMS.

John trail blazed restorative practices and justice at Kingston Prison Portsmouth over a number of years prior to its closure.

He is also currently working with Christ Hospital School in Horsham.
RJ Working in Schools
Thank you John so much for once again giving up your time to come to LHA to talk to the girls about RJ. It is very much appreciated.
Once again they were inspired by what you had to say. I am delighted that the deps are now confident and enthusiastic to want to share their experiences and pass the mantle on to the GE. I was interested to see how inspired the GE were after the session on Tuesday and they immediately asked when the next session with you would be. One girl said, "I completely get it now"!
The experience of introducing RJ to the 51 girls in the Boarding House has been quite an eye opener. After some slight initial resistance and feelings of insecurity in the first instance from the girls about change and new methods of dealing with misdemeanours and breaches of rules/trust etc, they have embraced the whole philosophy very positively and are enjoying a very much more relaxed atmosphere in house. It was interesting to see that to begin with they felt threatened by change and felt more secure with being punished!
Having now done away with house punishments over the last 2 terms, the girls have realised that if the whole house community supports our values, we don't need to punish offenders, but need to focus on the victims instead and on how to put right the harm done to those who have been affected. The whole process has restored relationships by opening up opportunities to be open and honest, to acknowledge feelings, to admit mistakes/wrongs, to apologise and to move forwards. A much more healing process than simply dishing out a punishment.
The girls have used RJ to very effectively deal with fallings out among younger pupils; the peer supporters are more confidant and feel they know what to do when problems occur. Recently 2 deps (6th form girls) had a falling out with a peer from another house, causing much upset. When I spoke to them about it I simply said that I did not want to hear the whys and wherefores of what had happened, but they needed to reflect on any harm they had caused and decide what they needed to do to put things right. Both decided to apologise for the part they had played and were able to empathise with the girl and to put things right - by doing so she felt supported and understood. By the next day I had received an email from one and had a conversation with the other, both telling me proudly how they had approached the girl, apologised and her offered to support and help her.
The most noticeable changes I have found are that when things go wrong in house:
- there is a much more open and honest atmosphere in quickly finding out the truth of what has happened. In the past I often went around in circles trying to get to the bottom of what had happened, with people not coming forward or not being honest  because they feared being punished or getting their friends into trouble;
- the girls are more quickly taking responsibility for any part they have played;
- the girls are happier and more relaxed around each other, feeling more supported and empowered to deal with the results of any conflict etc;
- I am not having to punish people, which is great - very liberating and not so stressful; much better for my own well-being!;
- I can concentrate on the positives and not the negatives.
I have been approached by a number of House Parents who are interested in adopting the RJ approach for their houses. Pupils seem to have heard about it and are talking to their House Parents about it.
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