New Managing Director Appointed to Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services

22 November 2017

The Group Chief Executive for the Social Interest Group (SIG),  Gill Arukpe, today announced the appointment of Kelly Hallett as Managing Director of Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services, both of which SIG is the parent company of.

Kelly has worked at a senior level across a range of custodial and community social care settings having started her career working in prison substance misuse services,  progressing to managing drug services across all East of England prisons. Kelly then worked at Turning Point as Assistant Director of Substance Misuse Services responsible for some 30 services. From there Kelly joined Penrose working first in Business Development before moving to a Director of Operations role responsible for the organisations Mental Health, Offender and generic support services. In 2015 Kelly moved to the Director of Criminal Justice Services role to lead the delivery of services in the Transforming Rehabilitation Programme in partnership with MTC Novo and London CRC.

Kelly has a wealth of experience in designing, delivering and managing multi-geographical services for a broad range of vulnerable people including criminal justice, substance misuse, mental health and offender services. She demonstrates strong leadership and has a very successful track record of continual improvement of operational and quality standards, service outcomes, social enterprise, generating new income and value for money.

Gill Arukpe said “Kelly has been instrumental in the successful delivery of our Penrose Criminal Justice Services and I am delighted that she will continue to oversee this delivery,  as well as taking responsibility for and leading from the front,  our subsidiary charity  Equinox Care.  We feel that by having a dedicated M.D for Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services we will have clear leadership, accountability and ownership to be able to develop and strengthen both charities in their own right within our Group structure.”

Kelly Hallett said “I am delighted to have been appointed to this role. Both Equinox Care and Penrose Criminal Justice Services are dynamic and exciting charities to lead. Both are ambitious for Service Users and are driving collaborative ways of working and improving outcomes. I am looking forward to developing each charity further, expanding our reach and service provisions  and working with the dedicated and expert staff teams within each organisation. These are very tough but exciting times to work in the voluntary sector and I am looking forward to overcoming the challenges, using our expertise to influence future social care thinking and celebrating our successes within The Social Interest Group.

Make Change Count

Local charities are asking people to help rough sleepers by donating to recognised organisations and not giving on the street.

The charities’ research shows that best way to help someone sleeping rough is through professional help.

The latest stage of the Make Change Count campaign builds on an initial collaboration last year. Charities are continuing to work together to raise awareness about what support is available in the city for people sleeping rough and offering advice on how best to help.

This summer, five local charities are addressing this national issue at a local level. Brighton Housing Trust, St Mungo’s, Pavilions, Equinox, Nightstop and Antifreeze are highlighting the practical support available all year round in the city and how best to help rough sleepers. The campaign is supported Brighton & Hove City Council and Sussex Police.

The participating charities say giving money on the street can be counter-productive and lead to people staying in their current situation when more effective help is available.  Local organisations make sure those in need have hot meals, access to shower facilities, clothing and support from outreach workers to move people away from the street to rebuild their lives.

Speaking on behalf of the organising charities, Nikki Homewood, Director of Services for BHT, said: “The Make Change Count campaign is all about getting the right help at the right time for those who are sleeping on our streets. We’re sharing information on how residents can refer people they are concerned about and providing an alternative giving option to donating on the street.

“The campaign aims to help people make informed decisions when giving money or other items to rough sleepers. We are keen to make clear that we’re not telling anyone how they should spend their money, that’s a matter of personal choice.

“We’d like to share the experiences we’ve gained from many years of working with rough sleepers. We know that moving off the streets is a difficult thing to do, no matter how much people want a better standard of living. People sleeping rough are often very vulnerable and have lost confidence to plan for the future because of the circumstances they’re in. Support is needed to help people rebuild their lives.

“We’re keen to all work together to give people the best chance for the future. People understandably want to help those living on the streets, and giving to someone right in front of you is a natural reaction. But there can be better ways to help and we’re asking people to think about how they can really make their change count.”

How you can help:       

  • Donate today by texting UMCC17 £3 to 70070
  • Contact Streetlink with information about where people are rough sleeping is a way to make sure they are known to support agencies offering professional help. The rough sleeper outreach team, run by St Mungo’s, respond to details given to Streetlink and go out to see all known rough sleepers in the city. The team discuss a person’s needs, working with them to explore options to try to move them off the streets and into accommodation. or 0300 500 0914
  • Please click the button below to visit the Make Change Count page and donate.

Cllr Clare Moonan, lead councillor for rough sleeping, said: “The Make Change Count campaign can transform and, even save, lives. In Brighton & Hove we have a wide range of services and support designed to help those in need but there is always more we can do to help. Working together, everyone in this caring city really make a difference.”

More information about the Make Change Count charities:

Brighton Housing Trust 
St Mungo’s 


Equinox Service Centres to become Psychologically Informed Environments

May 15 2017

Equinox has begun the implementation of a Psychologically Informed Environment framework across all of its Service Centres in the UK.

The purpose of a psychologically informed environment is to enable clients to make positive changes to their lives.  It is one that takes into account the psychological makeup – the thinking, emotions, personalities and past experience - of its participants in the way that it operates. 

The PIE framework also considers the psychological needs of our staff; developing skills and knowledge, increasing motivation, job satisfaction and resilience. 

As Equinox continues to grow and diversify we feel it is a good time to consider how we can develop our services so that they become even more effective.  Becoming an organisation wide PIE will help us develop our service models further and subsequently help our Service Users to have happier lives. 

We feel that working and caring about our staff and Service Users together will encourage the opportunity to reflect and develop awareness and skills that are psychologically informed and significantly improve outcomes for Service Users. 

For further details contact Dolores Kelly, Marketing and Communications Manager at

World Mental Health Day - nutrition and older people

Posted by on 10 October 2013 | 0 Comments | Tags: , ,

It's World Mental Health Day - and this year's focus is mental health and older people. 

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Equinox Impact Report 2013

Posted by on 2 October 2013 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , , , ,

The Equinox impact report 2013 is available online – we’re very happy to be sharing this with you. This report takes a close look at the past 12 months at Equinox – focused around the areas of Health, Homes, A Liveable Life, Family & Friends, Alcohol and Involvement & Personalisation. You can also find statistical, financial and major project reports in the About us section. 

In the last 12 months, Equinox worked with 1326 people who have multiple and complex needs, including mental ill health, alcohol/drug dependence and homelessness. We are proud of all of their achievements in recovery and in their lives. Please get in touch with Equinox with your feedback on this report, as well as any current challenges you have where Equinox can offer expertise. 

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The Shard to Brighton pier - in 200,000 steps!

Posted by on 1 October 2013 | 1 Comments

At 8am on Tuesday 24th September, we set off from a fog-wrapped Shard in London Bridge for our 100K walk to Brighton. The aim was to raise £1000. All funds raised go to the Equinox service user council to fund life-enhancing activities in their services.
With plasters and painkillers packed, plus a tube of Deep Heat, a tin of Vaseline and support bandages, Phil and I set off on our ramble south.
We went up hills and down lanes, across fields and along side busy roads – all planned out to be a safe walking route, avoiding dangerous roads!  
Here’s a map of the route we took. 
And here’s a quick review of our journey....

It’s great to get a good send off
Equinox Service User Involvement manager, Ness, and Equinox service user rep, Patrick, joined us for the Clapham Common leg, 7 kilometres into the walk. 
Patrick arrived in his black cab, told a few jokes and whizzed along the park paths. He said the park was peaceful, then he suggested a swim in the pond. 
Ness and Patrick waved us off.
And Patrick gave his helpful advice for the rest of the walk. 

The joy of ignorance
We walked almost 40 kilometres on day 1 – it was a good decision to do the longest day first (when we didn’t know any better!).
We wiggled our way through South London and beyond – via Elephant and Castle, Clapham Common, Wandsworth Common, Tooting, Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Coulsdon, Merstham and Redhill.
We crossed over the M25 as night fell and celebrated at the Redhill sign.

One step at a time
Day 2 was the hardest. We ate the wrong breakfast (scrambled egg and beans on toast) – because we couldn’t find anywhere to get porridge. 
Leaving Redhill, there was a short thunderstorm for the walk up hill – but overall, we were very lucky with the weather.
Heading out towards Salfords, we walked on pavements next to busy roads - long straight roads that stretched on and on and on. 
We entertained ourselves by making up limericks – but we were already feeling the aches and pains when we arrived at Horley. Cue the caffeine boost, some nuts and fruit, then another very long stretch to Three Bridges – passing under the roaring bellies of low planes at Gatwick, crossing high railway bridges. 
At Three Bridges, we had 2 kilometres to walk until our lunch time stop in Crawley. By then, we could only take it one step at a time. Feet, legs, shoulders – ouch. Batteries on empty. We looked out for an urgent fuel stop, craving carbs and a sit down.
At a shopping mall in Crawley, we spoon-fed pasta into our mouths, applied some pain relief and then did a much-needed meditation in a quiet corner of the cafe. Phew!

A little help along the way
There were times in the 100K we definitely had a helping hand.
The second half of Day 2, the sun came out, warming our way out of Crawley, along to Pease Pottage, then Handcross. 
After a cuppa at Handcross, we went cross country – on a series of tracks, paths and lanes – for the last 10 kilometres of the day.
All started off well, the lanes were refreshingly cool and quiet. We went through chocolate box villages, through a churchyard, past graves, lakes and a mini-waterfall. We chatted to horses and sheep along the way. And we enjoyed the challenge of reading Ordnance Survey maps (haven’t attempted that since Geography lessons at school!)
Then the mist came down and the light began to drop – and we still had 5 kilometres to do across country. We took a wrong turn across a field and veered off course – we came across an abandoned farm house where there wasn’t a soul in sight to ask for directions. But it turned out to be a lucky mistake because the final stretch of the original route we’d planned was through woodland – and thanks to the wrong turning, we came out on a very quiet road, which took us the final 3 kilometres to our rest stop for the night. 
It was brilliant to arrive at the sign for Bolney. After a bat flapped overhead, my imagination took me to some thrilling places. Ghost horses and carts thundering down dark country lanes! 

Don’t count your chickens
The beginning of Day 3 in Bolney, Phil and I were feeling good. At 25 kilometres, it was the shortest day of our 100K walk. 
We started out well, meeting these two pirates as we left Bolney – and some friendly farm dogs and chickens.
We flew past Hickstead showground, on to Sayers Common, Albourne and Muddleswood. All going well – feeling chuffed with ourselves for making a great start. 
Then we got on to an equestrian route at Muddleswood and we were off track. A helpful gardener called Martin pointed us in the right direction.
We ducked through this 13th century church at Newtimber, had a peek inside the empty church.
Then under the motorway and up past the chalk pits, a very steep climb to the top of Round Hill on public bridleways.
Then we came face to face with a sturdy bull. He stamped his foot at us, so we backed off quickly, heading down a long track to our lunch time stop in Pyecombe.
After lasagne and juice, we climbed up the South Downs Way to the top of the peak, where we first spotted Brighton and the sea – only another 12 kilometres to go!
Then the long walk into Brighton – via Patcham and Preston. We did an A to Z of song titles to distract ourselves. 

It’s great to celebrate
The sights of Brighton were wonderful to see. Despite weary feet and sore legs, it was great to arrive in the town at nightfall, as the lights came on at the Pavilion and Brighton pier shone up ahead. 
It was an amazing feeling to step foot on Brighton pier. We had done approx 200,000 steps each to get there. The town looked beautiful at night and the sky was a mix of pink, yellow and blue.

And finally... 

Two lovely surprises.
The next morning, the Equinox Brighton team came out to meet us on the pier. They brought us some lovely flowers. 
Then Phil and I took the final walk up the pier to celebrate the journey.
We decided to do a few more photos on the pier – messing around with Frankenstein’s monster outside the Horror Hotel.
We spotted the carousel – and decided to do our final photo together there.
Phil noticed the coincidence. 
The horse he was standing in front of was called Philip.
And the horse I was standing in front of was called Charlotte.
Thanks Brighton for the welcome!

Charlotte and Phil's 100K walk - the full report

At 8am on Tuesday 24th September, we set off from a foggy Shard in London Bridge for our 100K walk to Brighton

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Equinox service users relaunch newsletter

Posted by on 17 September 2013 | 0 Comments

After months of hard work, Equinox service users have relaunched their newsletter.

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Equinox fundraising news

Posted by on 28 August 2013 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , ,

London to Brighton 100K walk 

Just 5 weeks to go until our big walk! We’re aiming to raise £1000 to go towards service user activities, to help improve quality of life – Vanessa and the Service User Council are involved in deciding how funds are spent and will consult with services after the event. We’ve raised £320 so far, a third of the way to our target – we’d really love your support with getting the message out there and/or joining in with the fundraising. 

Tues 24th September: Phil and I will be starting out at the Shard in London Bridge. 
We are doing a lap of Clapham Common in the morning – service users and staff are very welcome to join this section, please let me know if you’re interested in the walk and/or a small amount of fundraising.  

Wed 25th September: Phil and I will be somewhere beyond the M25, heading for the south coast, step by step!

Thurs 26th September: we will walk the final leg of our journey to Brighton. 
We will finish with a walk along Brighton seafront and along the pier. Any service users or staff who would like to join us on Thursday 26th, early evening, are welcome – please let me know if you’d like to join in / raise a small amount of funds. 

Contact Charlotte on 07761 235 485 for more information.

Equinox Sutton – fundraising for alcohol counselling service  

As part of Walter’s efforts over in Sutton, a Just Giving page has launched today. Walter’s aim is to raise £1500 in 30 days towards training counsellors, to assist with reopening the much-needed alcohol counselling service in Sutton. 

Find out more by clicking the link above – and please pass this on to anyone you know who may be interested. Please also share this news via social media, if you are happy to do that. 

Contact Walter on 07939 624 742 for more information.London to Brighton 100K walk LonLondon o Brighton 1Eqalk

Equinox London to Brighton 100K walk

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A conference for collaboration

Posted by on 10 July 2013 | 0 Comments | Tags: , , ,

How can services make the best use of precious resources for better mental health? On 3rd July in Catford, the word of the day was collaboration.

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Equinox achieve ISO 9001 and Disability Symbol

Posted by on 5 June 2013 | 0 Comments | Tags: ,

ISO 9001 success

ISO 9001 success
Equinox have successfully completed ISO 9001 certification.
Ian Olney, Head of Quality and Compliance at Equinox, said: “ISO 9001 accreditation means the Equinox have achieved an important international standard for the quality management of businesses. There are clear benefits for Equinox service users, staff and commissioners. Our systems and processes at Equinox have come under close scrutiny – we were required to demonstrate measurable quality objectives for the entire organisation, the framework to achieve those objectives and the means to measure our progress against them.” 
Job Centre Plus welcomes Equinox as a Disability Symbol PArtner
The “two ticks symbol” has been awarded to Equinox from Job Centre Plus. The Disability Symbol recognises that Equinox agree to meet five commitments regarding the employment, retention, training and career development of employees with disabilities. This represents Equinox’s commitment to being “positive about disabled people.” 
Beverley Baker, Equinox HR Administrator, said: “All future recruitment literature and our website will display this symbol with pride to show our commitment to staff and new employees of Equinox. As users of the disability symbol, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for our vacancies”.ISO 9001 success

Equinox have successfully completed ISO 9001 certification.

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