Passion for recovery at Equinox Lewisham

Posted by on 10 May 2012 | 0 Comments

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The team at Equinox Lewisham are a busy bunch. But no-one’s complaining. In fact, just the opposite.

In conversation with Service Manager Peter Crudeli, it all becomes very clear.

The Equinox Lewisham team are passionate – about service users and about recovery and wellness

What do Equinox Lewisham do?

The Equinox Lewisham team support up to 86 service users at any one time towards wellness and recovery from mental ill health, substance misuse and chaotic lifestyles.

“We have a variety of projects at Equinox Lewisham and 4 in Southwark,” Peter explains, “supporting people aged 18 to 60. All our work is rooted in CPA."

A few examples...

Supported housing at Equinox Lewisham“There’s our forensic mental health project. This is a stepping stone project working with people with substantial criminal justice backgrounds. Some will also have Class A drug use and mental health backgrounds. We have 10 bedsits above this project and a further 2 flats here for service users with greater aspirations of independence but where they need a strong safety net. Here we work closely with the Forensic team.

“We have a shared house – working very closely with the early intervention team with people who are new in their understanding of mental ill health. There’s a lot of family work that goes on with this project mainly with people aged 18-30.

“And we provide accommodation, some in partnership with housing associations and private developers. In Sydenham, we have an in-house team of project workers and an Assistant Service Manager. Here we work closely with the rehab team. We outreach from there to more flats for people in Forest Hill and Sydenham, all of whom have mental health needs. We work closely with the resettlement team, supporting service users and always promoting independence and growth.

“We also have an independent living scheme, which provides support to people in Lewisham in their own homes – private, local authority and for those living with family. We’re also open for people to drop in everyday (9am to 9pm, Monday to Friday; 10am to 7pm, Saturday and Sunday). We are somewhere for people to come to when they’re in crisis. We meet with families here too – so we can take the sting out of some of their journey.

“The aim of all of our services at Equinox Lewisham is to help people towards independent living.”

But what’s the key to helping service users find their independence?

Trust.

“It’s just a real privilege to be involved in people’s lives,” Peter says. “Service users come to trust us after not being anywhere they’ve had trust before. Our broad mix of services at Equinox Lewisham allows us to provide continuity – so when people become more independent, we can offer them opportunities in other services with lesser support. Move-on housing is also provided by Ship and private landlords.

“We also offer 3 months of support when people move on from Equinox to independent accommodation. And we have an open door policy so former service users know they can visit us whenever they need. Sometimes they pop back years later – some with problems but many with happy stories.”

Help when it’s needed...

“One guy pops in from time to time. He’s got his own flat and is managing his own life. He’s with his GP now instead of full care coordination. Sometimes he asks us for a little help with life issues but he also supports with Equinox staff inductions in Lewisham – he talks about what he found supportive in terms of making changes in his life.

“And today, about 12 o’clock, I had a knock at my door from a lady whist at Sydenham. She was almost crying and distressed, She had her brother outside in the car who is blind and disabled, her other brother has schizophrenia. She was on the margins because she hadn’t been screaming for help. It was great that this lady felt able to come into a supported project and we could give her time. This resulted in us directing her to a support room were together we planned a way forward she met at a prearranged time  with David one of our social work students. They went online together and found out what financial support she is entitled to and were to go. We’re part of the community in this way, wherever we are.”

Find out more information here about Equinox Lewisham or if you are commissioning services, please call Service Manager Peter Crudeli on 0207 740 9800 to discuss your project.

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