Welcome to Hillside Clubhouse
Hillside Clubhouse is a resource for people with mental health problems that makes social inclusion and participation in everyday life a reality. Getting a paid job, having a social life and going to college are the norm for many of our members.
In early 2011 we moved into our brand new state of the art architect designed building. The new building also features a shop, the Kiosk, which serves hot and cold drinks and snacks to the public and provides employment opportunities for our members.
What our members say
Our members talk about their experiences.
Darren Olowe explains how he was looking for work in retail but could not find a job, which led to him going to Hillside Clubhouse. He describes his experience on the project and how it has increased his confidence and motivation.
Videos courtesy of ESF Works
Who we are
Despite the fact that one in four of us will experience mental illness, so little is done to understand the causes and effects it can have on our lives. And for those that have to endure long-term mental illness, support, and most importantly, choices about the way they live their lives can be extremely limited. There are barriers which prevent mentally ill people from living full lives. They are excluded from opportunities. This brings with it low self esteem. Hillside works towards making social inclusion in mainstream activity a goal for our members rather than boring traditional day centres.
Hillside Clubhouse brings hope, confidence, relationships and structure and it provides support to a wide range of people from a number of London boroughs. The Clubhouse is physically based in the London Borough of Islington. Hillside offers its members a daily experience that involves them entirely in the workings of the Clubhouse – from setting its goals and objectives, through to delivering the services to its members on a day to day basis. The emphasis is on participation and working in partnership with members and staff working side by side with each other as equals not as powerless patients and carers. Members have a say in how the clubhouse is run. This enhances their self esteem, and prepares them for work. Being part of a team and achieving results throughout the day is what makes Hillside unique. For some the routine of the day and working with others might be their initial goal. For others or as time progresses Hillside is a stepping stone to full time or part time employment or other forms of social inclusion like going to college or university. Hillside provides work experience. This is invaluable for when members apply for jobs.
Active participation is the key. Involvement in every aspect of the running and the development of Hillside means that members have real choices and a genuine say in the day to day and long term issues that face the Clubhouse. Hillside provides the following:
- A safe, secure and stimulating environment for people with enduring mental health problems to build confidence through meaningful relationships and work orientated activities
- A structured programme of activities within the work ordered day in which individual members and staff undertake the day to day running of the Clubhouse together.
- Access to training opportunities both inside and outside the Clubhouse
- An external paid Transitional Employment Programme
- Advice and practical support on a whole range of issues including benefits, housing, practical and emotional support
- Outreach to those who are unable to attend to ensure that they do not disengage
- A wide range of social activities through our social programme
- The opportunity to participate in international training events and conferences abroad
- Individually tailored support in accessing mainstream long term employment, education or voluntary work
Mental illness will always be part of our lives. Hillside Clubhouse is helping those that have to endure long term mental illness to have a positive choice filled life.
What is a Clubhouse?
A clubhouse is a rehabilitation project for adults with experience of mental health problems. Membership is voluntary and lifelong; members can come and go as they like. Clubhouses make the concept of social inclusion a reality for their members. The Clubhouse has a physical base and enables its members to participate in mainstream employment, education, social and leisure facilities in the community at large through building members' confidence, valuing relationships, preparation for work and ongoing support. Clubhouse is an internationally recognised model and there are over 450 clubhouses worldwide supported by the International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD) and operating according to international clubhouse standards.
Staff members and members work together in all aspects of the running of the clubhouse, sharing duties and responsibilities in a partnership of equals. Members are encouraged to take part in all the work that the clubhouse generates, and are fully included in all the decision-making processes.
Clubhouses nurture a strong sense of identity and community, with everyone pulling together. Any contribution that a member can make is genuinely needed and appreciated - staff are not sufficient in numbers to run the centre on their own, and need to seek members' cooperation. This spirit of collaboration leads to equal, respectful relationships being formed.
All clubhouse work is real, meaningful work, necessary to keep the place functioning. Work plays a central part in the clubhouse philosophy, as a aid to social integration and in building self-esteem. The idea is a simple one - that people's self-worth increases when they feel able to make a useful and valued contribution to their community.
The ultimate aim of any clubhouse is to build the self-confidence and skills of its members, with a view to preparing them for the world of paid employment. There are three main facilities for achieving this:
- The Work-Ordered Day means that the clubhouse keeps to normal working hours. Members are encouraged to join in a daily work routine and develop good timekeeping habits, which will be essential in any future employment.
- The Social Programme operates outside normal working hours, and offers a more relaxed environment for members and staff to develop relationships forged during the working day.
- The Transitional Employment Programme is designed to help members gain confidence in a workplace setting away from the clubhouse.
The first clubhouse was set up in 1947 in New York, and still exists today. It is called Fountain House, and now hosts the International Center for Clubhouse Development (ICCD). This organisation runs an accreditation programme, which is responsible for evaluating clubhouses around the world, and assisting them in following the clubhouse model of psychiatric rehabilitation.
In early 2011 we moved into our brand new state of the art architect designed building. The new building also features a shop - The Kiosk - which serves hot and cold drinks and snacks to the public and provides employment opportunities for our members.