Wednesday, 9 December 2009



Adele Adams from Islington has been nominated for a Home Office National Tackling Drugs, Changing Lives Award for her role in ‘Project Silverfish’, a scheme she founded in 2008 to support one of the most marginalised minority communities in London - the intersex, transgender and genderqueer community.

‘Project Silverfish’ is the only one of its kind in the UK and was set up in memory of Adele’s close friend, world renowned DJ Alex Silverfish, a trans woman who at the peak of her professional career in the music industry committed suicide in summer 2008 after suffering years of harassment.

Having been supported through drug rehabilitation and a difficult journey through gender transition herself, Adele wanted to help others in similar situations.

Now, with the help of her colleagues, Adele delivers street outreach to inner London, offering trans and intersex people practical guidance on drug and alcohol misuse. She also offers harm minimisation support for people who feel that they need to use ‘black market’ prescription medication to help them through a physical sex change without GP supervision.

Adele was nominated for the Tackling Drugs, Changing Lives Award by Savvas Panas, CEO of the Pilion Trust – an information and support charity based in Islington.

He said:

“There are not enough words to describe how well Adele has done, not only in completely turning around her own life, but helping the lives of others. In terms of commitment and perseverance, Adele always goes the extra mile. Adele works with people who have very complex needs, but nothing fazes her. She works day and night to help everyone she meets gain control of their life and take their rightful place in the wider community.”

Since the project began, Adele has also helped over XX people find suitable housing and gain work experience in an agency that will actively recognise and support their difficult journey through gender transition.

On hearing about her nomination, she said:

“It’s a fantastic feeling to be nominated for a Tackling Drugs, Changing Lives Award and I would like to thank the Pilion Trust for helping me to achieve my own goals as well as making ‘Project Silverfish’ possible. Because I have had a difficult past myself, I know all too well about the risks of using drugs to help forget the pain caused by prejudice from local neighbours, employers and even strangers.”

One of Adele’s main aims is to get people back into work, learn new skills and help them gain confidence. She says that this is vital in reducing the risks of them going back to a life of drugs and alcohol misuse.

She continued:

“This community is hidden and marginalised and, as a result, many of them survive by working in the sex industry where illegal substances are rife. The transgender and intersex community has the highest rate of sex workers of any other community in the UK. It’s high time we took a closer look at the reasons why they are there, and help bring them back into mainstream employment, or at least make their lives safer.

“One of the ways we help to do this is by being advocates for those who do not understand how to access statutory benefits. We also offer training programmes for transgender people on ways out of the sex industry, as well as giving practical advice to those who are intersexed or transsexual. Moreover, ‘Project Silverfish’ recognises that it is no longer acceptable to put transgender and intersex people under the umbrella of gay and lesbian issues.

“Sometimes it can be difficult to convince people who have been abused all their lives, that you can be trusted, but I persevere, and I am so proud to say that since launching the project, many people who may have ended up like my friend Alex, now have a bright future - regardless of their background.”

The Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson at the Award Ceremony today, highlighted and praised Adele and her work and congratulated her for being one of the winners of the regional awards.

There were over 230 applicant this year from across the country and was one of the finalists and regional winners.
If you wish to make a donation and support the work that Adele and her volunteers deliver for Project Silverfish, please send a cheque made out to The Pilion Trust, and post it to The Chair, c/o The Pilion Trust, 8 CLarendon Buildings, 25 Horsell Road, London N5 1XL and state that your support and donation are for Project Silverfish.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Pilion Trust ------ Looking for Volunteers

Pilion Trust --- is looking for volunteers --- do you have skills you would like to put to good use --- Financial --- HR --- Business --- Operational --- fundraising ---- Brokering --- Networking ---- Sewing ---- Knitting --- film making ---- photography ---- Computer --- whatever skills you have will be helpful.

Wht not donate your skills to one of our projects.. A couple of hours ---- a day a month --- the choice is yours.

Pilion Trust ---Looking for New Trustees

Do you need a challenge in your life...become a Trustee for The Pilion Trust...for one year!

If you are interested write to the Chair at our office address or email.


Not Forgotten -- Manna memorial Service 2009

On behalf of The Pilion Trust & The Manna Centre we would like to invite you to:

Not Forgotten ----Manna Memorial Service 2009

An opportunity to remember friends amongst the homeless who have died this year.

Wednesday 2nd December, 3:15pm St Stephen's Church, 17 Canonbury Road, London N1 2DF

Please invite service user's &... Co-worker's and anyone who may be interested in saying goodbye to someone they have lost this year.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Donate to The Pilion Trust

Wednesday, 4 February 2009


Written by Mary - helped and supported by The Pilion Trust

My Journey:
It’s my birthday in a couple of weeks and I will be sixty five…. Years have come and gone and I have lost the track of time. It’s what happens to you when you live day to day, hand to mouth and concerned only if I wake up tomorrow. I am one of the remaining ‘Bull Ringers’ famous for being homeless in Waterloo some 15 years ago. Most of the peoplehave gone now….. Lost their lives needlessly.

I am a mother and a grandmother (I think), but do not judge me!... I was born in East London. My mother and father I never knew. I was taken away from my mother as so many children were in those days and placed in an orphanage, even though I wasn’t an orphan.

Years came and went and no-one wanted to adopt me. No one to love me, care for me and even to help me. So I became angrier and bitter as years went by. By sixteen I was old enough to fend for myself said the Social Worker who I had only seen once a year and didn’t know if it was the same woman each year. Released from Care I was on the streets.

Met a fella who seemed nice enough. Caring, happy and sweet.Ended up marrying him and we moved to Croydon. It was happy times being a young house wife looking after my husband, having a family. I even got a job. A couple of years later my first daughter arrived and two years later my second. I was twenty with 2 children and a caring man by my side. I never realised how expensive it would be to raise a family with one salary!!!

But it dawned on my very quickly when the man I thought was caring started blaming me for things. This blame turned violent and physical against me. Then one day after a beating that landed me in hospital, I found myself deciding not to return to that man and went on the streets.

I have lived in many Boroughs, streets and parks over the years. I have met many people wanting to ‘help me’, but it wasn’t until one cold night in January 07, that I met Savvasand Jamie. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t trust or believe them. I was very rude actually. But night after night they came by where I slept with a couple of others and chattered and brought me food or tea.

Over the months, I watched them work with the others I knew, and, these guys were different. They listened!!! We build up respect and trust towards each other and then Savvas informed me that Aston would become my new Worker as Savvas had to run the charity now. Aston to was very gentle and supportive. These guys fought for me, (not in that way) but against the social, housing, benefits.

They found me solicitors (Dana is her name) and they got meallocated some temporary housing. Off the streets,first time in 6 years. Christmas 2007, a room with no food, bedding, telly etc. They went out and found me a tree, bedding, pillows etc... Merry Christmas and happy 2008 to me!!!!!

It didn’t last long….. Aston moved on in the new year and this upset me, but Savvas being Savvas he found me a new Worker by the name of Pattie. I made her work hard to build my trust and faith in her. She too was special and soon instead of arguing with her we had to unite. You see someonehad taken my ID and NI years earlier and was claiming benefits in my place and I didn’t know it.No money, no benefits, no housing….
Islington were about to evict me from my little room which had become my home because of fraud. I found myself again not being believed, trusted and gossip behind my back. But Pilion and Pattie believed me, they stayed strong helping me, they were always there….The stress and injustice makes me want to run away again but Pattie and Savvas challenge me to stay and fight. I thought about it and how much longer could I keep running and decided to stand my ground for the first time in my life.

Believe me this was hard! After 64 years of let downs, abuse, violence, assaults, sexual stuff, I had to trust these guys and stand firm. Another solicitor Azad was to take my case against the social and benefits department of DWP.

I am proud of what I have achieved. I have taken on the services that failed me all my life and now I am about to find my safety and home. If it wasn’t for the Pilion, Savvas, Aston and Pattie and all the people they found tosupport me I think I would have looked forward to dying on the streets on London.

Why? Why me? No-one ever cared enough to love and look after a little girl who was alone. This child turned bitter and nasty because of the system and what society did to her.

Today this little girl stands a proud woman. I help out at a number of churches in Islington and Camden making sure others have a better journey in their life than I did. Ifound my mother (who didn’t want anything to do with me) and recently I found my daughters who do want to meet me. They also tell me I am a granny!

My journey is just beginning…………….
Do not forget the less fortunate as we are not bad people, just bad things have happened to us. Please help and support charities like the Pilion and don’t forget me… My name is Mary.

Also on Freshties 1st of 2