Wakefield Discovery College
Welcome to the Wakefield Discovery College, a Recovery College offer for people aged 16-25, covering the whole of the Wakefield District, from west to east, the five towns, the south east and much further beyond the district borders.
We are the first Discovery College within the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and the first Discovery College to be offered in Yorkshire! Best of all, you don’t have to live in the Wakefield district (or even Yorkshire) to attend. We’re open to any member of the public, aged 16-25, completely free of charge. You don’t need to be referred in to the College as we operate a self-enrolment service, meaning that you get to choose exactly what you’d like to do with us, how many courses or workshops you’d like to attend and where/how you’d like to attend these to best support your wellbeing.
Recovery is a personal journey! It’s about building lives, creating opportunities, taking control and instilling hope. Your journey may involve you becoming an expert in your own self care, finding new skills and interests or building your strengths and inner resources.
At the Wakefield Discovery College we have lots of opportunities that will help you to recognise your own interests, skills and talents. Working in partnership with local and national groups and organisations, we provide both online and face to face courses and workshops, hosted at a variety of venues across the district, that can help you on your own personal recovery journey. All of our courses and workshops are co-produced and co-facilitated, meaning they are designed and delivered by professionals (as you might traditionally expect) but also by those with lived experience of the subjects that they are teaching (known as experts by experience). This ensures that our courses support the needs and aspirations of people in our local communities.
We believe that people who have experience of health problems, whether that is personal experience or as a carer for someone, are the experts in their own lives. So, as we continue to grow the Discovery College, we want your help to develop the College and the courses on offer, sharing your ideas with us so that together we can create opportunities that will support people as they choose to be. This is co-production, and it’s what our Wakefield Discovery College is all about!
Want to know more about the courses on offer? Click here. Each course will tell you within its title whether it’s for those aged 16-17, 18-25 or for anyone 16-25.
There are lots of reasons why you might want to volunteer. It could be to gain skills to help you in to employment, because you want to give something back to your community, or because you want to become more active and improve your wellbeing.
We have lots of opportunities at the College for volunteers to get involved in, from co-producing to co-facilitating a course, supporting students or helping to shape the future of the College. To find out more about volunteering with the College, click here.
If you’d like to get involved, but aren’t quite sure about committing to be a volunteer, we also have “Friends of the Recovery College” opportunities (which also encompasses our Discovery College). This is a more informal way of getting involved with things like shaping what the Colleges look like (our development and planning groups), looking at future courses to see if they fit with what our audience expect (our editorial panel), or even contributing to the weekly newsletter “The Supporter”. If you’d like to find out more about what’s involved with being a “Friend of the Recovery College”, get in touch with one of the team.
- We are open to all – this means any member of the public aged 16-25, from anywhere, regardless of background.
- Access is free of charge – all of our courses and workshops are free to attend, for everyone.
- Co-production is key – everything we do, from coming up with the name of the College, to course content and delivery, to the procedures we follow and the documents we use, is co-produced. This means those who are experts by experience working equally and alongside those who are experts by training.
- We offer education, not therapy – whilst you will likely experience a therapeutic benefit from attending the Discovery College, we offer information and self-management rather than therapy services.
- Everyone has a choice – we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to choose whether they wish to attend the Discovery College and to choose the topics that they would like to learn more about to benefit their own wellbeing or that of someone they care for. This is why we do not require a referral and operate via a self-enrolment process
- We follow the CHIME framework – CHIME stands for Connectedness, Hope and optimism, Identity, Meaning and Empowerment (Leamy et al. 2011). You can find out more about CHIME by reading the workbook our friends at the Norfolk and Suffolk Recovery College created.
Are you aged 18-25 and aren’t sure whether you can or should enrol on courses with either the Discovery College that’s open to 16-25 year olds or the Recovery College that’s open to anyone over the age of 18? Well, great news! You can attend whichever College you feel is right for you at that time, or indeed both if they are offering something different in each that you’d like to attend. You’ll meet the same staff and volunteers as we all work across both, you’ll probably be in some of the same venues for your courses so you’ll get to know the spaces that both Colleges use, and the Colleges work with a lot of the same partners too, so you’ll get to know what additional support and information is out there. We want to make the transition between young people’s and adult’s services as easy as possible. And, if you’re ever not sure and want to chat to one of the team about it, please don’t hesitate to give us a call, drop us an email, or get in touch with us through our social media.