Recovery College East

Recovery College East provides a collaborative learning environment that aims to convey a message of hope, power, and opportunity by celebrating strengths and successes.

It is a place to develop new skills, increase your understanding of emotional and physical distress, or explore the impacts of social issues, the way they impact us as individuals and the world around us. The college is a relaxed, friendly place to learn, with lots of support on hand if needed.



Our courses


All our sessions are delivered online for now. Further instructions of how to access these 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 are limited to a maximum of 15 students per session and booking is 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, email and let us know which courses/sessions you would like to join. We will then send you a conformation email. 

For new students

Please complete a registration form. This can be found at the bottom of this page or you can email to request a form. 

Who can attend?

Recovery College East offers courses to:

  • Anyone over the age of 18 living or working within Cambridgeshire
  • If you received, or are currently receiving, services from CPFT
  • Family, friends, and carers and loved ones of those experiencing challenges
  • 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. You need only 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 and returning, need to register each term. We publish the timetable and prospectus online during our registration week at the beginning of each term. Our registration period never closes, so you can register for our courses at any stage.

Who runs the courses?

All courses are co-produced and co-delivered, involving at least one person with lived experience of emotional or physical distress. 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 over a number of weeks. 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 offer a range of our courses online.

Is there a timetable and prospectus of courses?

Yes, we publish a timetable and prospectus at the beginning of each new term. Our timetable is available via the link at the bottom of this page.

Get involved

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 share your news.

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?

Email for an application form.

News and media

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

Image of Road to Recovery book

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! 

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 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.


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

As a patient

As a patient, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Patient Advice and Liaison service  Contact the Trust