Our Team is made up of Peer Tutors (people who have lived experience of mental health challenges) and mental health professionals. The team is ever growing and if you would like to get involved then please do get in contact.
Carol Tough – Head of Recovery College
Firstly hello and welcome. I’ll start with a quick introduction of myself. My name is Carol Tough and I’ve been appointed as the Head of Buckinghamshire Recovery College. I trained as an Occupational Therapist and have worked for several years in both forensic and community adult mental health services.
I’m really excited about this opportunity to share my experience, hope and strength with others and enable them to do the same. As a person with lived experience I know that it is possible to recover. I came to realise that I couldn’t expect other people, places or things to ‘fix me’; this had to be an inside job and acceptance was the key in my recovery. I started to recognise and be grateful for what I did have rather than focusing on what I thought I wanted or needed. My quality of life has continued to improve as I have taken control back and utilised the choices and opportunities that have been offered to me.
Samantha Baxter – Recovery College Co-Ordinator
I was appointed to join the team as Recovery College Co-Ordinator in November 2016. I have worked within the NHS for nearly 5 years and have been in many different administrative roles before joining the college. My role here is very varied but my main responsibilities are to support Carol Tough with the day-to-day running of the college and to work with new and current students to ensure that they get the best from their recovery journey with us. I am hoping I can draw from my personal and professional experiences to actively develop and facilitate courses that will benefit our students. I am so proud to be apart of such a wonderful team at Buckinghamshire Recovery College and the most rewarding part of my role is seeing the transformations our students and tutors are undertaking each day.
For the Buckinghamshire Recovery College to really work well we have a fantastic team of tutors on board who work incredibly hard. They create and co-facilitate sessions and workshops so that students really benefit and learn about their own mental health, how they can manage it and how they can look after their own wellbeing.
Sam Parker – Community Health Manager & Tutor
Sam’s role is to maximise WWSET’s physical and mental health related offerings and to develop, manage and deliver numerous new activities and partnerships all of which will aim to improve health levels within the local community.
As a graduate of Bournemouth University where Sam studied a degree in Sports Development and Coaching Sciences, coupled with her employment experience in both County Sports Partnerships and National Governing Bodies for Sport (working in roles such as Sports Development Officer for ‘Get Berkshire Active’ as well as time employed by a local authority in the role of Project Officer for an initiative called ‘Active Together’),
She has a specific interest in helping people from all walks of life to get more active and healthy and also loves spending time with family and friends, playing various sports.
Dawn Shirley – Peer Tutor
I started at Buckinghamshire Recovery College as a student and I have now progressed to a peer tutor.
I am hoping I can draw on my personal experiences of mental health difficulties and share some of my life experiences and health challenges to help and support others on a similar journey. The college has given me the skills and confidence to allow me to begin to help inspire others.
Heide Peck – Peer Tutor
My name is Heide, I have been a peer-tutor at the Recovery College since September 2017.
My background is person centred counselling, teaching and residential social work.However it is my lived experience that has brought me to the Recovery College.
Creative Arts and crafts have played a huge role in my journey, which explains why the courses that I have been involved with, have had creativity of all kind as a foundation.
I feel passionate about the ideas behind the Recovery College and feel privileged to be able to be part of such a positive organisation. Recovery is always possible. By sharing part of the journey, we can support each other and together find a way towards it.