Co-production at The Recovery College, C&I

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By Iris Dearne, Recovery College Manager, Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust (C&I).

Co-production is at the heart of our Recovery College.  Everything we do at the College is co-created with our students and our local community partners.  Our students come from diverse backgrounds – including  service users, carers, family members, supporters, professionals and the public.

Our Courses and Approach

We value equally, lived – peer  – experience of a mental and/or physical health recovery journey and professional expertise, and all our courses are created from scratch by two recovery tutors.  We place an emphasis on experiential learning methods and bringing both sets of experiences smoothly together. One tutor draws primarily on their lived experience of e.g. psychosis, depression, anxiety and/or other long-term conditions, and the other comes from the angle of evidence-based treatments or useful theories. It is natural and inevitable that, on the way to agreeing what is most important to include in the course, lively discussions often arise.  However, as we always focus on what our students can practically take away – as new skills or new self-management tools that they  can integrate into their lives –   we always co-operate and resolve differing views  in a constructive manner.

Our 2018 course guide is available online here.

Our Recovery College

Our Recovery College brings together two sets of expertise – professional and experience – in a non-stigmatising college environment. All of the courses provided at the college are designed to contribute towards wellbeing and recovery. Watch our YouTube video below to learn more from our past students.

Our Recovery College Board

In early 2017 the Board of the Recovery College  was elected to ensure that shared decision making at the College takes place at all levels. This year we have increased the number of Board members to ensure an even more representative skill and experience mix.  Again, here we ensured that lived and professional expertise was evenly represented in our Board members.

We are open to students from boroughs other than Camden and Islington, as long as they have an attachment to either borough, for instance through work or family.   This year we have begun to pilot chargeable courses to organisations who want us to come into their organisation and educate employees using our existing or bespoke training courses.

We plan to develop our partnerships with My Care Academy and Middlesex University further, as we work together to help our communities.  Please come in and see us, or check out our webpage and trial one of our courses.  We hope to see you soon.

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