“Between January and December 2014, 27 people used our service at Equinox Aspinden Wood, where we provide support, care and accommodation to people with chronic alcohol dependence. Many of our service users are older people with a history of homelessness. Many experience mental ill health. Our clients typically have been averse to treatment for many years, with a history of ASBOs, arrests or using A&E departments. They may have lost their accommodation because of their alcohol use or been intimidated in their home, due to their vulnerability.
“We are very proud of the fact that 2 people moved on successfully from Equinox Aspinden Wood in 2014. One person went through detox and rehab and then social services looked at private rented accommodation with support, so he could live independently in the community. Another client went back to his family, to live with his long term partner and her family. He was supported by Equinox staff, his care manager and his family to make this move back home.
“These successful move-ons in 2014 show that it is completely possible to change. It’s about having the mindset that this is a recovery service, whatever the issues are related to alcohol dependence, mental health, physical disability or old age. Our responsibility at Equinox Aspinden Wood is to try and motivate people, effectively managing risks with our clients and promoting recovery options.
“Equinox Aspinden Wood staff have a fantastic understanding of our service users’ personal needs, such as health needs, family connections, physical needs, alcohol needs, their life journey and history. We have a really creative approach here to activities, which help to engage service users and get them to open up about their lives – such as animal therapy, movement therapy, art therapy and reading groups.
“We also do adopt a harm minimisation model with service users, negotiating with them a safe amount of alcohol to drink per day, then agreeing a daily structure with them. We provide health and alcohol information to people, to help them understand the effects of long term alcohol dependence on their health. We use the Recovery Star tool for drug and alcohol to measure the impacts on health and wellbeing and we celebrate the successes people have along the way.
“We also have a GP, Dr Nicholson, who comes in once a week for half a day from our local practice, prioritising people who need to see her, but always with an open door policy. She understands our clients’ health needs very well and service users don’t have to wait a long time to get the health checks they need. Examinations, if required, can take place in people’s rooms, providing privacy.
“Going forward, we’re going to be encouraging even more positive risk-taking. Staff believe that service users can change and recover.
“Finally, we wish to say goodbye to one of our very popular service users, Patrick. Patrick went into hospital in 2014 for a long term physical health condition and sadly he passed away. Equinox staff and service users attended Patrick’s funeral and spent time with his relatives. Patrick will be sorely missed at Equinox Aspinden Wood. He contributed much to our service whilst he was living here, including as service user rep on the Equinox service user council.”
Spot purchase & arranging to visit Equinox Aspinden Wood:
- Referrers and commissioners, to enquire about spot purchase at Equinox Aspinden Wood or to arrange a visit, please contact Sharron Erinle.
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 020 7237 0331
Read more about Equinox Aspinden Wood:
- Reading groups & recovery at Equinox Aspinden Wood in 2014: a Goldsmiths & Liverpool University research project
- Rachael enjoys Equinox Aspinden Wood movement group
- “I listen to what’s important to people”: Equinox Aspinden Wood service user rep, Tony
- Dr Nicholson’s weekly GP surgery at Equinox Aspinden Wood
- Animal therapy at Equinox Aspinden Wood with Baltic the Great Dane