Introduction to Buckinghamshire Recovery College

The Buckinghamshire Recovery College is an environment for people to engage in social, leisure, creative and educational opportunities which have been designed to increase their skills, knowledge and understanding about mental health and recovery to equip them with the tools to live a happy and fulfilling life.

Buckinghamshire Recovery College offers a range of courses co-designed to contribute to wellbeing and recovery; supporting people to recognise their own resourcefulness, talents and skills in order to become experts in their own self care. These courses aren’t therapy, or a clinical intervention, but we do believe that through realising and inspiring individual and collective potential, people can learn how to take care of themselves, and others, more effectively.

What makes our courses so unique is that they are co-produced and co-delivered by a Peer Tutor (someone with lived experience) and a Professional Tutor by Training (Mental Health Care Professional). Combining expertise by experience and professional expertise are vital ingredients in the production and delivery of all our courses.

What is recovery?

A person’s journey of recovery is a highly individual process. It is about developing a meaningful and satisfying life regardless of a condition or diagnosis; using and developing your skills and talents to become all you want to be and do all you want to do!

Specialist treatment like therapy and medication may be important but it is only a part of the story. Everyone’s journey of recovery is individual and uniquely personal – there is no formula, but there does appear to be three things that are critical:

    • Hope– recovery needs hope. Relationships are key in supporting and fostering hope. It is difficult to believe in yourself if everyone around you thinks you will never amount to very much. When you find it hard to believe in yourself and your possibilities you need others to believe in you and hold on to hope for you
    • Choice – choosing your goals. Recovery involves taking back control of your life and destiny; finding purpose, meaning and direction in life; deciding what is important to you and finding new dreams and ambitions.  It may also include taking control of your own recovery and self care and working out ways of managing problems so they don’t get in the way of you pursuing your goals and deciding what help and support you need in order to pursue your ambitions
    • Opportunity– recovery is impossible without opening up opportunity for a life beyond illness.  Doing the things that give your life value such as meaningful occupation, work, and participation in community life and leisure activities.

What is a Peer Tutor?

A Peer Tutor is someone who has lived experience of mental health problems and has shown that they have been able to use recovery tools to sustain good management of their difficulties. All our Peer Tutors have training to teach and undertake supervision to make sure that any issues that arise can be dealt with in the best way possible.