Recovery College East

August 2020

Recovery College East is open

Following on from our taster fortnight we are happy to announce we will be running a 5-week term commencing 22nd September. Please see the document entitled 'Recovery College East 5 week timetable - September 2020' for full details.

All our sessions will be delivered online for the time being via Microsoft Teams, further instructions of how to access our online sessions can be found by scrolling to the bottom of this page and downloading the file entitled ‘Guide for Students - how to use Teams to access an online session. 

Sessions will be limited to a maximum of 15 students per session and booking will work on a first come, first served basis so please ensure you are able to attend before registering for a session. 

For existing students – to register for a session simply email us at and let us know which courses/sessions you would like to enrol on and we will email you confirmation of your place on the training. 

For new students – you will need to complete a registration form. This can be found at the bottom of this page or you can email us directly at to request your registration form. Simply email your completed form back to us and let us know which courses you would like to undertake.

We look forward to hearing from you soon, 

Recovery College East Team


About Recovery College East

Recovery College East provides a collaborative, educational learning environment and aims to convey messages of hope, empowerment and opportunity to all.  It celebrates strengths and successes rather than highlighting deficits or problems.

Whether you want to develop new skills or increase your understanding of mental health challenges, you will find that the college is a relaxed, friendly place to learn, with lots of support on hand if you should need it.

Who can attend?

Recovery College East offers courses to:

  • Anyone over the age of 18 who has received, or is currently receiving, secondary services from CPFT
  • Their supporters (family, friends and loved ones)
  • CPFT staff, volunteers and students on placement
  • Staff and those who receive services from our co-production partner organisations.

There is no fee and no entry requirements, but people do need to register with the college before attending any courses.

How do I register to attend courses at the college?

Any person who wishes to attend courses at the college does not need to be referred.  However all students, both new or returning, need to register each term for the courses that are available throughout that term.  We publish the timetable and prospectus online during our registration week at the beginning of each term.  Students can choose to attend one of our registration day sessions at the start of a term or they can register later in the term by completing a registration form and sending it to the college.

Who runs the courses?

All courses are co-produced and co-delivered, involving at least one person with lived experience of mental health challenges. The college values the expertise gained from lived experience equally with that derived from professional training.

What sort of courses are available?

Courses vary in length from one-off workshops to those that take place weekly for a number of weeks. Courses currently on offer come under the headings: moving forward, the road to recovery, and developing knowledge and skills. The range of courses available each term will vary as the college responds to the demands of its students.

Where are the courses held?

The college has two hubs: one in Cambridge and one in Peterborough. See below for the addresses for each hub. We also occasionally run courses at various community and CPFT venues across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Is there a timetable and prospectus of courses?

Yes, we publish a Timetable and Prospectus at the beginning of each new term, during the week of our Registration Days. Our Autumn 2019 Timetable and Prospectus will be available at each college hub during our Registration Days and they are also available via the links at the bottom of this page.

Recovery College East News

Speak Your Mind magazine (issue 10) out now

The summer issue of Speak Your Mind is out now! You can download the new issue from the bottom of the page.

Having had to postpone the issue due to the impact of COVID-19, Recovery College East is delighted to now be publishing this issue, which acknowledges the impact of coronavirus on those with health challenges, while also looking to the future.

We decided to place a special focus on mental health and the workplace this issue because it’s such a broad matter and plays a huge part in the recovery process and keeping well in the future. Having work to do and feeling useful can be key in helping people with mental health challenges feel that they are achieving something positive and are needed as part of a team. But there are challenges around getting back into the world of work, including confidence, the interview process, being discriminated against because of your health challenges and managing your mental health at work.

This summer issue addresses all of these areas, as well as lots of non-work related material including a brand new mental health podcast featuring interviews with the likes of Ruby Wax and Dr Ranj; a look at how an allotment is helping people on their road to recovery; and a project designed to send get well cards to those on mental health wards.

If you have any questions then please e-mail us at

Want to Speak Your Mind?

Involvement opportunities

Are you aware of a service or local event that would be good to bring to attention? Have an area of passion or expertise that you want to share with others? Want to share your personal story or the activities and techniques that keep you well? Then we would love to work with you to bring your insight to our readers.

Volunteer opportunities

If you would like to contribute to Speak Your Mind on a regular basis or have an area of expertise or interest, then we have a range of opportunities, including but not limited to the following:

  • News correspondent
  • Physical health correspondent
  • Young/Older persons correspondent
  • Poetry, quotes, artwork correspondent
  • Features writer
  • Anything else?

Get in touch with us at the email address below for an application form.

For more information email:

The Power of Language

Our new webpage provides an insight into 'The Power of Language' - the impact it can have on someone's recovery and resilience and how it affects stigma, particularly in connection with mental and physical health. Sharon Gilfoyle has written a very thought-provoking article entitled: 'Mind your language' (available to download from the Power of Language webpage) and we invite you to try the 'Mind your language' challenge for yourself.

RCE features in national briefing paper

Recovery College East has featured in a national review of recovery colleges. Sharon Gilfoyle, Head of Recovery and Resilience,  contributed to a briefing paper entitled 'Recovery Colleges - 10 Years On' produced by  Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change (ImROC). Endorsements from students at RCE are included such as “The Recovery College is ‘food for the soul’ and whenever I come to the College I feel nurtured, valued and energised! Thank you.”  Download the briefing paper below. 

Recovery Stories - our publication

Some of our Recovery College East students have been involved in the publication of this fantastic new book, Road to Recovery: Our Stories of Hope.

In the book, there are some inspirational stories describing the incredible journeys people have taken on their road to recovery. We've been truly humbled putting these stories together and we hope you can experience some of that inspiration when you read them.

You can download a free copy from the bottom of this page.  Alternatively, we now have printed versions available for you to buy that are just £5 each. If you'd like to buy a copy, you can send a cheque for £5 payable to Recovery College East to our Peterborough address at the bottom of this page, or you can pop into either of our colleges, in Cambridge or Peterborough, to buy one. (Addresses for the college sites are at the bottom of this page.) We hope you enjoy it! 

Please see the latest SROI report on the peer worker page here


Recovery College East Video

Students, partners and staff have put together this fantastic video about the college, talking about their experiences and what it means to them. Check it out below.

"Not once before or on the course were people asked about the label that is often attached to their psychiatric experiences or their medication. I was amazed and thrilled at this freeing experience. I could just be me, which gave me reassurance and strength to grow in myself and in my relationships with others."

Peer employment student


James Sheard, volunteer co-ordinator with VoiceAbility in Cambridge, has made two short videos for Recovery College East students after plans for VoiceAbility to speak at the college in person were forced to be postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19.

VoiceAbility, also known as Total Voice, is a charity which provides free and independent advocacy in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. The videos, which are aimed at Recovery College East students in Cambridge and Peterborough respectively, were created to reach students from the college who may remember the team from past visits or have been looking forward to their planned sessions this summer, or anyone who hasn't previously heard about them and would be interested in accessing their support. In the videos, James and Christine, a volunteer with VoiceAbility, offer reassurance that the service is still open and available to support those who need it, as well as confirming how to contact them if you need to.


Contact us


Recovery College East (Cambridge)

128-130 Tenison Road

T 01223 227510

Accessibility Guide:
Cambridge Recovery College

The page was last updated on 15 September 2020 by aji.kuriakose.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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