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Statement from Chief Executive of Equinox Care

25th February 2015

Gill Arukpe, Chief Executive of Equinox Care and Social Interest Group:

Equinox logo“I’ve been Chief Executive of Equinox Care and the Social Interest Group since October 2014. So really I’m talking here about the success of my predecessor, Bill Puddicombe, who was the Chief Executive of Equinox Care.

“During 2014, Equinox Care supported 1138 people, many of whom have the most chaotic and complex lives. Of the people who were discharged from our services in 2014, 81% were discharged successfully, back to their own homes or into independent housing, having been supported by the staff at Equinox Care.”

Equinox Aspinden Wood:

“Many of our service users have the most complex and chaotic lives. For example, the people who come to Equinox Aspinden Wood have the most acute alcohol problems, many of whom have been treatment-averse for years. At Equinox Aspinden Wood, we accept referrals via spot purchase from around London and people come to us in the hope that they will find some form of recovery and stabilisation. Previously, our clients may have had ASBOs preventing them living in certain areas of London. They may have been in A&E departments or arrested on numerous occasions. They may have lost their accommodation because of the drinking. Some have actually been driven out of their home by local people and been intimidated themselves.

“They come to Equinox Aspinden Wood because it’s a safe place to be. The staff work determinedly to support them towards recovery. One client recently said to me how he previously had nowhere else to go. He used to drink on the streets and end up sleeping on the streets. And now he is in a warm, safe place.”

Equinox Brook Drive:

“We also have Equinox Brook Drive, our residential detox and stabilisation unit. We’re a pan-London organisation, although we do take referrals from outside of London on a spot purchase basis. The people who come to Equinox Brook Drive for detox have often been through detox numerous time. I’m really pleased to say that 87% of people who have used Equinox Brook Drive achieved a planned positive discharge in 2014, the vast majority of those alcohol and drug free.”

Equinox Lewisham:

“We have mental health services throughout Lewisham and often people are referred to us through the Lewisham pathway. They may have been in a long term hospital and discharged into the community, or they have been ready for less support and have moved through our own pathway. Equinox Lewisham services can offer 24 hour support to help people focus on maintaining the recovery they have already attained. They can move on to lower support with Equinox Lewisham, before moving into full independent living. It gives people a sense of security, knowing they can go for help with problems around employment, bill payment, debts and many have a dual diagnosis of substance misuse. We will ensure people engage with local substance misuse services and stay within treatment.

Equinox Brighton:

“Equinox Care have services in Brighton as well, working with people who have been drinking alcohol on the streets for many years. We work intensively to help people engage with local organisations which provide a range of support. It’s a really important piece of work that we’re doing. We’ve identified that many of these service users have the most complex and multiple needs; very few have alcohol as their only issue. We are now working in partnership with Cranstoun as part of the Pavilions partnership in Brighton and Hove, to extend the offer that we can give those people, to ensure they no longer need to be on the streets and have a lifetime of drinking alcohol.

“It’s a real credit to the staff that they find innovative ways to support people, who have been really adverse to accepting help or treatment. I’m really proud of the determination they show, coming to work and support that group.”

More results from Equinox Care services in 2014:

“You can read the 2014 results from the rest of Equinox Care’s services here:

“You’ll also find links in these pages to many individual stories from Equinox Care clients, about the changes they have made in their lives in 2014.

Good quality service provision at Equinox Care:

“It’s a really difficult time to be delivering support services. The cuts that we have incurred in terms of funding does have an impact on the level and quality of services. It’s at the back of your mind all the time. But I am really proud to say that when I look at the work the Equinox Care staff have done, it is still of good quality. They genuinely care about the people they support.

“You’ll find information on this Equinox Impact Report website on how you can access our services and what they provide, as well as on the Equinox Care main website.”

Contact Gill Arukpe, CEO of Equinox Care and the Social Interest Group:

“If you would like to contact me personally and ask how you can access services, or how we might be able to help you develop services locally, I’d be really happy to hear from you.”

Phone: 020 3668 9270
Email: gill.arukpe@socialinterestgroup.org.uk

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