The new manager of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust's (NSFT) Recovery College has pledged to continue developing the highly valued facility so that it can help even more people experiencing mental ill health.
Breanne Cook has been appointed to the role after previously spending 10 months as the Recovery College's East Suffolk Co-ordinator, where she was responsible for putting together the timetable, recruiting and training Peer Tutors and teaching.
A former social worker, Mrs Cook brings with her extensive experience of training and ran four courses in her previous job in East Suffolk, which were Wellness Planning, Creating an Individual Learning Plan, Building on Strengths and Abilities, and What is Recovery?
In her new role, she hopes to help introduce additional courses and help make sure the college is sustainable so that even more people can benefit from the help it provides.
"I am really excited about my new role, as I really believe in the work of the Recovery College," said Mrs Cook. "I applied for the job as I wanted to be in a position to influence the growth of the college and make sure it is sustainable so that even more people can access the help it provides.
"I will also be carrying out some project work and building partnerships with other organisations whilst looking at opening access so that we can make sure the college is the best it possibly can be. We want it to benefit as many people as possible, including accessing hard to reach groups in the community that may not have access to services.
"One of the best parts of the job is running courses – you really get to connect with people and see the benefits of the college first-hand. Watching people grow, learn and use peer discussion and experience to influence their own recovery journey makes it all so worthwhile.
"The Recovery College is a really valuable asset and offers us the chance to support people in the community and to promote personal recovery principles. It gives people control over their own recovery journey, which is really important.
"My priorities in my new role will be getting more Peer Tutors and Staff Tutors into post so that we can put on more courses and reach more people. We will also continue to review our prospectus to see whether there are any additional courses which we could start offering."
The Recovery College operates in Great Yarmouth, Norwich, King's Lynn and East and West Suffolk, and provides a range of courses and workshops to service users who are receiving care from the Trust. The courses are aimed at helping them to better understand their condition, to identify positive goals and to support their access to opportunities, such as employment and independent living.
Carers and NSFT staff can also attend to further develop their skills, gain support and more fully understand mental health issues.
All of the courses and workshops are co-produced in partnership with service users and run by Peer Tutors, who are people with lived experience of mental health issues, along with Trust staff.
For more information, visit: http://www.nsft.nhs.uk/Get-involved/Pages/Recovery-College.aspx
Caption: Breanne Cook
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