Equinox Brighton were appointed in the summer 2014, and started work in October 2014, as the provider of a new Brighton service targeting people with multiple and complex needs. This followed a competitive bidding process.
The Equinox Brighton Multiple and Complex Needs Team is funded by the Big Lottery. The lead agency for the South East Regional Partnership is Brighton Housing Trust, which oversees three initiatives in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings.
Equinox Brighton senior business and partnerships manager, Jesse Wilde:
“Equinox exists for vulnerable and forgotten people, who often fall through society’s safety net. We were thrilled to be appointed to work with these marginalised groups in Brighton and Hove.
“The Equinox Brighton Multiple and Complex Needs team work directly with service users, providing assertive and personalised interventions to women with complex needs and people with a dual diagnosis. They also lead a partnership process, reviewing and evaluating service and systems design and delivery. Our aim is to leave a lasting and sustainable legacy, to better meet the needs of this client group.”
Lucy Basterra, Equinox Brighton Area Lead for Brighton & Hove:
“The Big Lottery is funding us to work in four areas:
- mental health
- substance misuse
“A lot of consultation took place and the specialisms of women with complex needs and people with a dual diagnosis were chosen as the local focus for Brighton & Hove.
“Our team is comprised of myself as area lead, Alan Wallace as service improvement officer, Nicki Taylor as women’s specialist worker (appointed in November 2014) and our dual diagnosis specialist worker, Louise Bray-Allen, (appointed in January 2015).
“This skilled team is complemented by three project consultants who are people with lived experience of using local services, with multiple and complex needs. The project consultants are employed centrally by Brighton Housing Trust, co-located with the Equinox Brighton team at our city centre office. It’s their job to set up service user panels and lead on all aspects of service user engagement for the Fulfilling Lives project.
“Overall we are a learning project. Beyond the frontline work being done by the Equinox Brighton specialist workers, there’s a whole process of systems and service review going on. We have already set up a very creative and bespoke way for local stakeholder partners to put forward potential clients to our team. We’ve done lots of partnership work, making links with local commissioners and stakeholders.
“Moving into 2015, through the work of our specialist team, we aim that people with multiple and complex needs, previously not engaging with services, self-report that changes in service delivery have had a positive impact on how they manage their lives. We also aim that service users are empowered to directly influence service design and delivery, within the project and externally, for anyone with multiple and complex needs.”
Kate, Equinox Brighton:
“Equinox helped me so much. I was homeless and they helped get me housing. I’ve been working with Heather for a year and a half now – the support is so good.
“I did an interview with Brighton Housing Trust, bidding for the funding for the Fulfilling Lives project. I had to go and sit with the Board and explain the work that Equinox had been doing. I talked about going to rehab to get off alcohol and getting counselling for trauma. It felt so good being part of the team that won that funding.
“I’m living in Worthing at the moment and my keyworker, Heather, sat with me for 7 hours in the council office, to help me get this accommodation. I’m trying to get more permanent accommodation back in Brighton now, so I can get to my recovery meetings more easily. I also do mindfulness, which is lovely. When I get all hectic in my head, it helps to do my breathing.
“What Heather does is put me in the right head space, she helps me remember the things I should be doing and the things I shouldn’t be doing. I’m going to all my groups to keep on track with my recovery and mindfulness. I meet up with my sponsor. I sing in a choir and I do my groups. I want to go back and do hair and beauty because I did that when I was 16.”