Vanessa Doidge, Equinox Care service user involvement manager:
“In 2014, the Equinox service user council held 11 meetings. Typically, 5 out of the 9 representatives attended each meeting. Throughout 2014, we discussed service feedback from reps, content for the twice-yearly Off the Press magazine and housing provision beyond Equinox Care.
“We also planned group activities, including theatre trips and fundraising activities. In June 2014, we did a bake sale, which raised £75, and a Race for Life event in Greenwich, which raised £675 for Cancer Research. This was inspired and instigated by Kathleen at Equinox Greenwich, having gone through treatment for breast cancer earlier in the year.
“In July 2014, the Equinox service user council put together a presentation for the Equinox Board about the work of the service user council and how they can contribute even more to Board level discussions at Equinox Care going forward into 2015.
“In September 2014, 2 Equinox reps took part in Recovery Month, promoting drug and alcohol recovery awareness.
“One of the key drives towards the end of the year was for Equinox service user reps to encourage their peers in services to get on the electoral register ahead of May 2015.
“In December 2014, 7 out of the 9 Equinox service user reps ran a meet and greet day, following Equinox joining the Social Interest Group in October 2014. This event was a chance for reps and staff from Equinox Care, Penrose Options and Penrose Works Ltd to get to know one another and share ideas.
“Finally, Equinox service user reps got together for a Christmas meal in December 2014, to celebrate their achievements in 2014 and to have some tasty Italian food! It was a relaxing end to a busy year for service user involvement at Equinox Care.”