About us

Two women at recovery college

The NSFT Recovery College provides free educational workshops and courses for anyone over the age of 16 in Norfolk and Suffolk. Courses are designed to support people invest in their own wellbeing find empowerment on their mental health journey and become experts in their own 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. 

Recovery College is a safe space to learn among other people who have experienced mental health challenges, supporters and members of staff. 

The Recovery College is not a replacement for clinical support, it works alongside it, as you choose your own courses and work at a pace that suits you.

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

The quality of our co-produced courses is very important to us.

Our Quality Panel examines each course against specific quality criteria before it reaches the timetable, checking that each course is recovery focused and evidence based. The panel consists of people who have either lived or learned experience, from either inside and outside the college.

We also use the quality process to regularly review our courses, ensuring that they include the latest research and new ideas.

Learners Agreement

We want to create a safe and welcoming learning environment at the Recovery College, and we want to ensure we give you all the support and guidance you need to achieve success. This learner agreement is a guide to highlight what we expect from everyone at the Recovery College so that we can help you to achieve success in a supportive environment.

As a student at the College we ask you:

  1. To be respectful of each other’s rights, life choices, beliefs and opinions.
  2. To provide us with any information that we need to support your enrolment and ongoing learning to make sure you get the most out of your learning experience if needed.
  3. Treat everyone with compassion, dignity and respect and to avoid the use of offensive, racist and sexist language always, and to not discriminate against others.
  4. To respect the wellbeing and property of other members and of the college or venue and to report any health and safety concerns you may notice.
  5. To take an active part in your own learning and to make use of the resources made available to you where possible.
  6. To minimise distractions during the courses for example, having your mobile phone on silent and to refrain from using mobile devices where possible.
  7. To attend courses punctually. Please let us know if you’re having troubles attending or joining the course or if you wish to cancel your registration on a course. You can do this by emailing the Recovery College.
  8. To use designated smoking areas. Please do not attend if you are under the influence of alcohol and illicit substances.

Please communicate any concerns you have in terms of the learner agreement with us or moving forwards. We are here to talk about any concerns, queries or questions you may have.

Trust Values

At the Recovery College we align all our work in accordance with the three Trust Values. 


  • Be proactive: We think about the needs of our students and we consider how we can respond to them. For example, if someone seems nervous, making a connection with them, considering how to include people in the discussion.
  • Take pride: We always want to provide the best courses and experiences for students. We take pride in the development and delivery of courses.
  • Take responsibility: We are responsible for all student’s learning and we work to support this.
  • Support people to set and achieve goals: We support students by offering reflective practice and encourage students to share feedback on changes and learning for them. We support students to think about their next steps and we are interested in hearing their future goals. 
  • Recognise people: We recognise and validate people's input, suggestions and feedback, and thank students for sharing and attending. 


  • Value everyone: We do this daily – we greet, offer support and accept feedback. We continually provide a welcoming environment by offering support, accepting and valuing feedback and greeting students. We value students attendance, ideas and create an atmosphere in which everyone is treated fairly and equally. 
  • Take time to care: We understand people have different ways of learning and we encourage students to learn in a way that's best for them. We manage discussions so that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute but acknowledge when it is time to move forward to protect one another's time. 
  • Be effective: We plan, run and end meetings in a way that keeps everyone to the point and is efficient. 


  • Involve people: We welcome people, introduce ourselves and offer a chance for students to share. There is a group agreement that creates a safe and comfortable learning environment. We have different activities which allow us to hear from people that wish to share. We adapt our courses based on feedback and continually reflect on people's suggestions. 
  • Share: We create opportunities for people to share in a way that feels comfortable for them, and to keep in mind the impact of sharing. We hold and find space for everyone.
  • Keep people updated: We manage expectations around when information may be received, being open and honest, delivering the information in different formats, acknowledging own limitations, and deferring to others if needed.
  • Have two-way conversations: As part of keeping people updated, being open and honest.
  • Speak up: Take part in feedback with a growth mindset and being aware of group dynamics.

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