Recovery Focus Annual Review 2017/18 out now

The Recovery Focus annual review for 2017/18 is now available.

It’s been a busy 12 months with a new partner joining Richmond Fellowship, our evolving Working Together group and a range of new services opening.

There’s a look at some of the exciting developments across the Group, from The Old Moat Garden Centre to the SHANTI Project and the expansion of our mental health crisis support, plus feedback on what recovery means to our staff, volunteers and people we support.

There’s also an update on our success at winning and retaining contracts and our achievements against quality standards.

To download your copy, click here.

To watch our new ‘What Does Recovery Mean To You?’ video, click here.

Recovery Focus signs up to Big White Wall

Recovery Focus has teamed up with online service Big White Wall to provide anonymous support to all staff and individuals using its partner services.

Big White Wall is an online early intervention service for people in psychological distress. The service combines social networking principles with a choice of clinically informed interventions to improve mental health and wellbeing.

It can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and has wall guides who ensure the full engagement, safety and anonymity of all members.

Staff and those using Recovery Focus’ partner services (Richmond Fellowship, Aquarius, DVIP and My Time) have been encouraged to sign up to the free web portal.

Mary Wishart, Group Director of Business Development at Recovery Focus said:

“We’re really proud to be teaming up with Big White Wall to offer this fantastic service free of charge to everyone at Recovery Focus. As a Group, we’re committed to the wellbeing of both staff and those using our partner services.”

Steph Evans, Chief Operating Officer at Big White Wall said:

“We’re delighted to begin a new partnership with Recovery Focus to provide 24/7 digital mental health support to their staff and people using its services. It signals an exciting and fresh move in the third sector to support those providing vital care for the wider population across the UK, highlighting that Recovery Focus are committed to staff wellbeing. For people they support, our immediate access and round the clock availability provides an additional level of support to those who need it most. We’re looking forward to working together and supporting Recovery Focus with the amazing work they do.”

To find out more about Big White Wall, see www.bigwhitewall.com.

DVIP joins the Recovery Focus Group

Today (Monday 2nd July 2018), the Domestic Violence Intervention Project (DVIP) announced that it has joined the Recovery Focus Group as a division of its largest partner, Richmond Fellowship.

For over 25 years, DVIP has delivered vital services and actively campaigned to end violence against women and girls. Today the London-based charity continues to provide essential services to hold perpetrators to account, end their abusive behaviour and support survivors to create greater space for action and safety for them and their families.

DVIP will work closely with other national partner charities involved in the Recovery Focus Group to identify new and innovative ways to support individuals and families affected by domestic abuse, mental ill health and drug and alcohol use.

Derek Caren, Chief Executive of Recovery Focus, said:

“Today is an extremely exciting day for the Recovery Focus Group and we are delighted to announce DVIP as our newest Group partner. DVIP has a long and proud history of working with families affected by domestic violence and prides itself on leading campaigns to end domestic violence for good. We very much welcome DVIP to our Group and look forward to working with the team in the future to shape new ways of working which inspire recovery in the areas of mental health, drug and alcohol use and domestic violence.”

Marianna Tortell, Managing Director of DVIP, said:

“DVIP is happy to confirm our new partnership with the Recovery Focus Group. Our new Group partners all share a passion and desire to support individuals and families affected by issues such as domestic violence and are committed to working alongside communities to inspire recovery nationwide. Those values reflect what DVIP has been working towards for over 25 years and we look forward to working with our new partners in the future to find new ways to improve the lives of the communities we support. As a proud feminist organisation for over 25 years, DVIP looks forward to working with our new Group partners to continue to work towards ending all forms of violence against women and girls”

DVIP joins Richmond Fellowship, the national mental health charity; Aquarius, the Midlands based drug and alcohol charity; and My Time, a division of Richmond Fellowship, as part of the wider Recovery Focus Group.

Formed in 2015, Recovery Focus is a Group of charities highly experienced in delivering services for people living with mental ill health, drug and alcohol use and domestic violence to achieve their ambitions. All of the partners involved in the Recovery Focus Group believe that with the right support, at the right time, they can meet the shared vision of inspiring individual recovery nationwide.

Edge Hill supports mental health service users through new partnership

The number of people affected by mental health problems is rising, with one in four people in the UK experiencing mental health issues each year, and Edge Hill University has joined forces with a leading group of charities in an attempt to tackle this.

Providing a range of mental health and substance use support services across England, Recovery Focus has united with Edge Hill to forge an exciting new partnership, bringing together academics from multiple departments across the University.

Read more

Blog: Grazina Berry on how coproduction inspires recovery

Grazina-Berry-executive-director-of-performance,-quality-and-innovationAs National Co-Production Week draws to a close, Grazina Berry, Group Director of Performance, Quality & Innovation at Recovery Focus, gives her thoughts on co-production and what it means for inspiring individual recovery.

Our Working Together Strategy is all about people. So often we hear about commitments to co-production and listening to the voices of the people we support, but here at Recovery Focus I’m proud to say we actually do it. Read more

Coproduction – Andrew’s story

Andrew began working for Richmond Fellowship in 2011. As a Recovery Worker he supports people using our services across Durham.

He talks about how the service’s allotment is helping people to learn new skills, develop relationships and engage with nature. He also discusses how the allotment is a shining example of co-production: Read more

Coproduction – Simon’s story

Simon uses Richmond Fellowship services. As a man living with a disability, mental health problems and a history of addiction he knew he had a range of experiences to bring to help other people and wanted an opportunity to do so. Our coproduction group offered that.

I am an older service user with a disability and have had mental health problems for most of my life. I’ve also battled with addiction and social isolation.

When I began to use Richmond Fellowship’s services I learned about their coproduction and was encouraged to get involved. As a group we look at the structure of the service, how we do things and what we can do to improve the service and support more people.

Through the group I was able to attend a conference in Birmingham for other service users. I thought I’d be the only disabled person there, but it was refreshing to meet other people with a range of disabilities both visual and hidden.

I live alone and struggle with social isolation. It’s really helpful for me to be part of this group as I don’t see or speak to many people.

The staff team are very good at making us feel wanted and needed and that our ideas and input matter.

In the past I did volunteering with other charities and I got walked over and treated badly. It’s not like that here; I don’t get discriminated against, shouted out or not listened to. Here I feel valued and that my ideas are worthwhile and that the team actually listen to me. It’s a really nice feeling.

Everyone needs to find a place where they’re happy and I get that with Richmond Fellowship.

David Millard retires from Recovery Focus board

Recovery Focus would like to thank Board member David Millard for his long service to Aquarius and the Recovery Focus Group Board as he takes retirement.

After an initial degree in English and Philosophy, David worked for the Probation Service between 1963 and 1997. He worked initially in Staffordshire and latterly in the West Midlands, picking up an MA in criminology from Keele University on the way.

His many years of experience included practice, staff supervision, training, and management. In the last years of his probation experience he was particularly involved with homelessness issues in the Birmingham area. Read more

Recovery Focus appoints Director of Digital Transformation

Recovery Focus is proud to announce Trevor Moore as Group Director of Digital Transformation.

The national group of charities (which includes Richmond Fellowship, Aquarius and My Time) has the ambition to bring their services into the digital age, utilising technology to better support people.

Trevor joins Recovery Focus from Qatar University where he oversaw the project to digitalise the entire university.

A Finalist for Middle East CIO Award Computer News Arabia, Trevor transformed the university from white boards and paper to a digitally immersive organisation utilising everything from an online library and database so students could access materials 24/7 to augmented reality to support safety campaigns and help save lives.

His work brought about huge savings at the university and delivered real change in efficiency and productivity.

Trevor returned to the UK for his family and sought to give something back with a role in the charity sector. He said:

“My role is to look at Recovery Focus and see what we can make digital. Technology will help make us more efficient and enable us to invest more time and money into supporting people through our services.

“In the short term we’ll address our back office functions and see how digitalising our processes can save time and money as well as making our operation environmentally friendly.”

However, Trevor has exciting plans for the role of technology in supporting people with mental health and substance use problems as well as the victims of domestic violence, as he explains:

“Technology plays an increasingly important role in the health and social care sector. Other organisations are seeing the benefits of incorporating digital methods into service provision. That can be anything to an employment consultation by video chat to revolutionary apps that monitor wellbeing and open the door to instant advice and support.

“There are fantastic innovations occurring with wearable technology that is able to monitor alcohol levels in sweat to better support people living with substance use problems.”

We’ll have more information about our digital transformation projects soon.

Minister backs project to help young people into work

evolve-minister-visit-2Rob Wilson, the Minister for Civil Society, visited the launch of an innovative, new community project in Birmingham today (4 Oct) aimed at improving the life chances of vulnerable young people.

EVOLVE is a social enterprise being set up by local substance use support charity Aquarius, one of the Recovery Focus partners. The plan is to transform the famous, old Adam and Eve pub in Digbeth into a community hub to create positive opportunities for local young people affected by drugs, alcohol, mental health and/or homelessness issues.

After meeting with members of the project team during his visit today, Minister for Civil Society Rob Wilson MP said: “This is a big step for Aquarius and it’s a brave step. But it’s the beginning of a new life and new opportunities for the young people who’ll be supported by this exciting venture. I’m really heartened to hear how Aquarius is exploring new markets and new opportunities, and that they’ve the vision to realise their ambition.”

Read more