Gerry: Mosaic Gave Me Myself Back

As our fifteenth story in our 25 for 25 series we hear from Gerry, our longest serving member at Mosaic.

I’ve been at Mosaic since it started, 25 years ago. I first found out about it through the hostel I was living in. The first Clubhouse was in Lewin Road, near Streatham bus garage. We started with one room, a small office, a garden and a kitchen. There were about 20 members. Coming to Mosaic was something to do, I enjoyed it.

Then we moved to Kirkstall Road, we were there for a few years, but our neighbours thought we were too noisy! I used to do kitchen work in the clubhouse, I still do. I used to work 9-5pm, we’d start with having breakfast together at 8.30am. It’s more relaxed now, I don’t do as much as I used to.

When we moved to Atkins Road in Balham we had more space, there was room for different units. I started working in maintenance; I worked a lot with Damien, an old staff member. We put up notice boards, did the garden, plumbing, making sure everything was working OK. We had a rota system, you’d put your name down for the job.

When we moved to Effra Road, Maresa had taken over as Director by then. I missed the old garden at Atkins Road, but I like that Effra Road is on one level.

I’ve travelled with Mosaic over the years, been to other Clubhouses for training in the Clubhouse model, and to conferences. I’ve also done a Transitional Employment Placement, at European Business News, which is now CNBC.

I’ve learnt a lot from coming to Mosaic, really it gave me myself back. I’ve seen the mental health system change a lot over the years, some things have changed for the better, there is less stigma now. It used to be much easier to see a Psychiatrist. Today some people don’t have any help, but Mosaic can help, with things like sorting out your benefits and getting you out.

I still come to Mosaic, not as much as I used to. When I come I stock up the snack bar, work on the till in the café and serve teas and coffees to members.
 

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