About us

Two women at recovery college

Recovery Colleges provide free educational workshops and courses. They open to everyone and they are designed to support people experiencing mental health challenges to invest in their own wellbeing and recovery.

All the courses cover a variety of topics and follow a personal recovery approach which encourages:

  • Self-knowledge and acceptance
  • An understanding of the principles of recovery
  • Learning and applying new skills and strategies
  • Leading a meaningful life with or without symptoms

The aim is to empower people to take control of their own lives and become experts in their own recovery - people choose their own courses to attend. 

It is a safe space to learn among other people who have experienced mental health challenges.

The Recovery College is not a replacement for clinical support, it works alongside it.

The courses have been categorised to help guide students:

Begin – to understand yourself

Build – a toolkit of self-help skills

Understand – aspects of the challenges you may be facing

Grow – a plan for your future

All the courses are centred on the principles of CHIME - Connection, Hope, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment.



CHIME is a framework for personal recovery.

In the research which led to the creation of CHIME different stories of personal recovery were compared. It was found that there were five things that everyone had in common which helped their recovery.

They were Connection, Hope, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment

We have a CHIME webinar  and you can also access the research underpinning CHIME.

5 Ways to Wellbeing

These are a list of actions which can be done to support a person’s wellbeing.

The 5 ways to wellbeing are:

  • ConnectImage of 5 ways to wellbeing laid out as a flower
  • Be active
  • Take notice
  • Keep learning
  • Give






We have a course titled 5 ways to wellbeing.  You can also read more about the research underpinning the course.

Please check our timetable for upcoming dates.



We are proud to use the original Recovery Colleges framework.

We develop and deliver all our courses in a partnership process called co-production.

We do this with people who have lived experience of mental health challenges, and with mental health clinicians.

But, it is not only our courses that are co-produced. Everyone at Recovery College has the opportunity to contribute to decisions we make.

We achieve co-production in decision making by holding regular meetings and asking everyone what they think.

A group of staff, tutors and student representatives then put all the opinions and ideas together to come up with a final decision.



Recovery Colleges are not clinical and we do not accept referrals from professionals.

Students choose whether they want to attend Recovery College.

We work on an educational model and have a prospectus and a timetable of courses.

Students are free to take part as much or as little as they want during courses. We encourage students to gain knowledge, skills and strategies. It is not a formal environment and there are no tests.

Students choose which courses they would like to take.

If students have particular goals, we can support them in choosing the best courses to meet them.


Strengths based and person centred

We are all students.

We recognise that each student has skills, knowledge, strengths and unique experience that is beneficial to the learning environment of all.

We aim to build upon those strengths by learning together.



Our aim is support and empowerment.

We want students to achieve their recovery goals and feel empowered to take on a life and opportunities outside of services.


Community Facing

Building partnerships with community organisations is important to us.

We value the existing partnerships we have across Norfolk and Suffolk. And we are grateful for the support, service and benefit to students they provide.



We accept all students of all abilities at Recovery College.

There are no formal requirements, criteria or risk assessments required to attend.

We encourage students to tell us what works best for them so that we can do our best to provide the right support.

If students have additional learning needs, we have an accessible offer here

An Easy Read version is available here


Quality Process

Quality and co-production is very important to us.

We have a specific criteria that each course has to reach before it reaches the timetable.

Our courses are checked by a Quality Panel to make sure they are recovery focused and evidence based. This is made up of staff, students and peer tutors who assesses each new course.

We also use the quality process to review our courses. This makes sure they include the latest research and new ideas.

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