Strengthening body and spirit at Equinox Mitcham Park

Equinox Mitcham Park offers a 13 week residential alcohol rehabilitation programme for men in Merton or Sutton. There are 8 rooms in the shared house, with community detox facilities available. Walter Boyle, service manager, describes recent initiatives to expand the programme – to include gym memberships, nutrition sessions and day trips in London. 

“Equinox Mitcham Park is an abstinence-based project for people recovering from alcohol dependence. Our group programme consists of changing behaviours through CBT, education and counselling. These are all fantastic interventions, which work on the mind to change attitudes and behaviours.

“Recently, our service users requested to extend our programme, to place more focus on strengthening their body and spirit. After consulting with our residents, our programme has been expanded to include:

  • Arranging memberships at the local Cannons gym
  • Running nutrition classes in our large kitchen
  • Organising day trips in London

“These three simple activities have helped to raise our residents’ morale, whilst they go through their alcohol treatment programme.”

Gym memberships

“We offered all our current service users gym memberships, which include 3 sessions per week using all the Cannons gym facilities. Four out of eight current residents have taken up this offer. They look forward to letting off steam at the gym.”

An Equinox Mitcham Park service user, Martin, said: “These sessions make me feel healthy again. Sessions can be hard work but the feeling afterwards is worth it. Just brilliant”

Nutrition sessions

“Our nutrition sessions teach service users about the best foods for managing cravings and maintaining recovery.

“Trained nutritionist, Steve, leads lively discussions with our residents, about how best to make use of everyday foods, to help their recovery process and reduce cravings.

“Steve visits us once a month to carry out these nutrition sessions. They take the format of the popular TV food programme, Saturday Kitchen Live. Residents gather around our very large kitchen table to discuss food and nutrition. Guided by Steve, our service users then prepare and eat a healthy dish together.”

Equinox Mitcham Park 1Day trips

“After years of alcohol misuse and/or homelessness, many of our service users find it difficult after their detox to socialise and interact in society. To help with their reintegration, we have arranged day trips to London landmarks, including Greenwich Cutty Sark, the Imperial War Museum and the V&A Museum.

“These trips help our service users to feel normal again, as well as encouraging them to socialise and build solidarity.”

Equinox Mitcham Park resident, Daniel, commented: “I never knew there was so much to see in London and most of it is free. Can we have more?”

Click to find out more about Equinox Mitcham Park’s alcohol rehabilitation service. Equinox Care is a member of the Social Interest Group.

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