Developing a recovery college

Adult Education | Secondary Care | Service Users


Inspired by the results of the UK’s first Recovery College at South West London and St George’s NHS Foundation Trust, the team wanted to help people to overcome social isolation and stigma in a predominantly rural community.

Who and where?

Providers across the health, voluntary and education sectors worked with commissioners to develop the Severn and Wye Recovery College approach.

2gether NHS Foundation in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire

Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group

Herefordshire Adult Education

Gloucestershire Adult Education

Herefordshire Mind

Art Shape

Family Lives


Courses focusing on skills, peer testimonies and self-management techniques. Coaching to support achievement of individual life goals. Self-help workbooks. ‘Recovery Space Days’ in a café/drop in style, including workshops such as art, music and sports with local people. 


Experience-based co-design, Model for Improvement, Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles were used to develop the course content and test recovery college formats. The microsystems approach is being used to continuously improve the courses. 

Our success

94% of students said they were more hopeful and 91% felt their knowledge and self-awareness had improved. One participant said ‘I am accepted just as I am, I’m being told that mental illness needn’t keep me from living a fulfilling and rewarding life. This was backed up with examples of people who really are living with their mental illness and are staying well’. 

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