About: Arnold Lodge Regional Secure Unit

(as a staff member posting for a patient/service user),


Through Judas windows,

grey stretches, apertures-

bars, more bars, high-wired walls

not even she can scale.

We stand there. Waiting

We stand there. Silent, meditating

Governor’s orders:

No drugs. No chewing gum.

No love. We stand there. Dumb.

We stand there. Waiting

We stand there-hesitating,

trying not to-

catch glances, be the first

to speak. Waiting for the grim, silent

officer to take us to her.

We stand there. Waiting.

Will she talk this time?

We stand there.



(With thanks to Dr Kathleen Bell for a suggestion).

The poem, above, does not refer to Arnold Lodge, where staff, in my experience, make visitors welcome.

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Response from Joanna Rapson, Volunteering & Befriending Manager, Volunteering & Befriending, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

picture of Joanna Rapson


Many thanks for this wonderful piece of creative writing. I am please to see that your befriending visits have inspired you to compose this poem. I look forward to hearing more like this soon.

The Volunteer Visitor Scheme at Arnold Lodge provides a befriending service to male and female patients who have little or no contact with the outside world. If this is something that others would like to pursue then please contact us on 0800 052 1415 or volunteering@nottshc.nhs.uk

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