In 2014, Equinox Lewisham and Equinox Aspinden Wood service users were involved with a Goldsmiths University of London and Liverpool University research project. Working with The Reader Organisation, this [...]
Equinox Lewisham and Equinox Brent service users and staff celebrated Black History Month in October 2014 with food, music, films and conversation. Here’s why it made a difference to the people involved. [...]
Susan Smith, Equinox Lewisham service manager: “Equinox Lewisham services are for people with enduring mental health problems and complex needs. Our service users usually have secondary issues such as [...]
Susan Smith, Equinox Lewisham service manager: “The Equinox Lewisham Independent Living Scheme provides ongoing variable support to people with enduring mental ill health, who are living in independent [...]
John, Equinox Lewisham: “I do the tender evaluation panel with Lewisham Council, working with Donna Peters. We look for ways to make better use of supported housing in Lewisham and Southwark and we look for good qualities in service providers who have made bids. I represent Equinox there, so I talk about what’s happening here […]
“My name is Henry and I’m 43 years old. I like cars, yeah, because I did used to be a motor mechanic. I like the engines best, the engines are the best part of the car because when I was a young kid, well like 17, I did own a car. They were little Minis, you can fix them up and you can supe up the engines to different CCs.
“I think at the beginning was the hardest time when I first got ill, you know what I mean. I was really sick man, I don’t know what it was but I kept on imagining things. When you hear voices, it does make you paranoid, that’s what you feel. And I’m a strong-minded person, I thought I could have ended my life for good.
“Well, because I took medication and I had somewhere to stay to take medication, obviously I knew when to go for help, you know what I mean. I don’t get into the position I was in before where I had nowhere to go.
“I think it’s my friends help me the most, my friends and the people in the hostels that I’ve been at and the hospital. And probably my brother.
“I want to go on holiday this year. I want to go abroad on holiday. And I really want to do this, because obviously I’ve got a car yeah. And if I do this right, plan this holiday right, I can have a really nice time in probably Spain or Portugal or something, you know what I mean. I really would like this to go well.”
Equinox Lewisham provide supported housing and assertive outreach for people who experience mental ill health, many of whom have other needs including a history of homelessness, offending, alcohol dependence and drug dependence.
“I was born in Nigeria, approximately 1956. My Mum died when I was very young. My father was in Great Britain during the Biafran War. So I was left in a village with only my granddad, who did not speak a word of English and didn’t know much about education. I had to learn how to cook, get the firewood, bring the water from the well. Yeah, I grew up very quickly.
“It all began approximately 1972. I divided. I became aware of mental health approximately 1978 when I got to know that there is something called schizophrenia. Although schizophrenia is not my enemy. I was about 16 to 18 years old when I began. Although I did not panic when I divided.
“If I can visualise tomorrow, which I am trying to do, if I put my life on a scale, tomorrow is better than yesterday.
“I’ve just learned how to laugh not long ago. I used to be so handsome, I looked miserable. But I’m able to smile and laugh now. I laugh because my mind is a lot better than what it used to be.”