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A college set up to help people recover from mental illness will be running new courses this summer.

The Severn and Wye Recovery College is a partnership between ²gether NHS Foundation Trust, Adult Education in Gloucestershire, Artshape, Family Lives, Mind Herefordshire and Herefordshire Council.

It was set up in 2013 through a grant awarded by an independent charity called the Health Foundation, and is now able to run further courses this summer thanks to a grant from ²gether’s own Charitable Funds committee.

Courses will be held in Gloucester, Hereford, Tewkesbury and Stroud from May onwards, and taster days are being held from next week to enable prospective students to find out more.

“The Recovery College was a new initiative in our area last year and our first courses were a great success,” said Jo Denney, project lead from ²gether NHS Foundation Trust.

“Our courses offer a different approach to recovering from mental illness. It’s about teaching people the skills to manage their own condition and stay well, as well as gain the confidence, life skills and knowledge to live their lives to the full.

“Some of our first students have used it as a springboard onto other things – some are now in employment or have signed up for other educational courses. Many of our first students said it helped them to transform their lives.

“Our tutors are people who have lived with mental illness themselves, and they are able to share their own experiences to demonstrate how overcoming mental illness is possible and how you can go on to live successful and fulfilling lives.

“We’re very grateful to have the opportunity to offer more courses this summer and looking forward to enrolling students at our taster days which are taking place from next week.”

Severn and Wye Recovery College courses are aimed at anyone with experience of enduring mental illness, such as psychosis, aged 16 and over, who is registered with a GP in Gloucestershire or Herefordshire and receiving services from ²gether NHS Foundation Trust.

Places are also available for carers and professionals working to support people with mental illness.

The courses being offered this summer include:


  • Recovery and Resilience – a course about mental illness, wellbeing and techniques to recover
  • Step Up! – a drama based course to help build confidence and communication skills
  • Mindfulness and relaxation for recovery workshops
  • Taster days are being held in Gloucester on April 15, Cheltenham on April 22, and in Hereford on April 28 and May 12.

    Full details are available through the college website, by clicking here, or by ringing 01452 894269.