Over 3000 students have benefited from the courses provided by Leicestershire’s Recovery College which is celebrating its 10-year anniversary on Friday 16 June with a special public event showcasing its courses and the impact it has had.

The Recovery College – run by Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) – offers a range of recovery-focused educational courses, workshops and resources, for people with lived experience of mental health challenges, as well as their families, friends and carers.

In June 2013 the College doors opened and our first term offered 25 recovery- focused courses, and saw 50 students enrolled and the college really began to flourish.  Now over 3000 students have benefited including Anneka who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Anneka undertook self-management training for her condition and then trained as a tutor facilitator, spending many years facilitating courses all over the country. However the funding ran out but she found an opportunity at the Recovery College on the Living with Bipolar course, which she feels, has been a privilege to take part in and now teach.

She said:

“Every day I have to work hard following the methods we teach on the course to keep well. Passing these methods on to others offers them hope and gives me some self-esteem. The college has a warm inviting environment where everyone is made welcome and treated with respect. I have met some delightful people during my time there and I believe that students leave armed with information that if followed will make a huge change in their lives.”

Other students who have benefited from courses said:

“[The Recovery College] was really important on my journey to recovering and to get to where I want to be, to live the life that I wanted to lead, by learning all these different new skills, different techniques, and learning that I’m not alone.”

“Thank you so much for the lovely expressive writing course, I often write in my journal to support my mental health but often can be a lot of negative words. I loved English at school and writing stories, poems etc but never really did anything after that as didn’t think I could do it again, but with the encouragement and the way you got us to write was brilliant and I really enjoyed it and hope to continue with positive writing going forward.”

The courses and workshops at The Recovery College are run by different organisations – including Leicestershire Adult Learning Service, the University of Leicester and Turning Point – and are available on a range of topics, including:

  • Understanding and living with depression
  • Peer support training
  • Managing emotions
  • Nature for wellbeing and recovery

To improve accessibility within communities they are running recovery-focused courses in venues across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland – at one point there were 13 satellite hubs which they are hoping to re-establish following Covid.

At the Recovery College, peer support workers – who have lived experience of mental health conditions and are trained to support others in their recovery – are available. A recovery-based approach is used to help people recognise and develop their personal resourcefulness in order to become experts in their own self-care, make informed choices about the assistance they need and do the things they want to do in life.

Over the recent Spring Term, over 550 students attended courses, with all of them recommending their course to others, and nearly all of them (96.5%) rating their course as ‘very good or good’.

Sam Wilson, Operational Manager at the Leicestershire Recovery College, said:

“Our achievements and, in particular, the achievements of our students are really worth celebrating. So please come and join us, this Friday 16 June at 11am at the Menphys Hub in South Wigston, to find out more about what we offer, meet some of our students and learn about their successes, and discover about the range of support that’s on offer locally.”

As a commitment to its own staffs’ mental health, courses are also available staff and volunteers at LPT.

The 10-year anniversary event will take place between 11am and 2pm on Friday 16 June at Menphys Hub, Bassett Street South Wigston LE18 4PE. For a free ticket please register here.

The Recovery College’s summer prospectus is available on this link.

If you would like to support the work of the Recovery College, you can make a donation here.