A new volunteer-led service has launched in North Tyneside, offering a programme of free courses and workshops aimed at the self-management of mental health and wellbeing.
Created in consultation with over 80 individuals, mental health professionals, charities and voluntary organisations, NT LIFE is the new Recovery College for North Tyneside and is launching from its new base at The Hub in the Linskill Centre, North Shields this September.
Recovery Colleges offer educational courses about mental health and recovery, which are designed to increase students’ knowledge and skills and to help them feel more confident in the self-management of their own health and wellbeing. Delivered in a safe and friendly community setting, courses and workshops are co-produced and designed by individuals who have lived experience of challenges with their own mental health, and who want to pass on their LIFE learning, skills and knowledge to help others.
Ali Donkin, North Tyneside Recovery College Coordinator said: “We are extremely proud and excited to launch NT LIFE, which stands for Learning Experiences From Everyone. We have been busy since June of this year developing a programme which meets the needs of local residents and supplements existing mental health and wellbeing support available. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended our drop-in sessions and who contributed their stories, input, opinions and feedback on how the College should be shaped. Everything from the name to the logo, course content, timings and prospectus have been co-produced by the students, volunteers and professionals who we will be working with to make NT LIFE a success.”
A series of workshops and courses are now available between September and December 2019 with a range of one-off events, weekly sessions and longer-term courses on topics including mindfulness, positive thinking, resilience, confidence building, creative writing, walking football and netball, and lots more. There are also a wide range of volunteering opportunities available as part of the College with roles in administration, enrolment, course delivery and co-facilitation. Ali goes on to say: “NT LIFE relies on the support of volunteers to deliver courses and provide continued support to its day-to-day running. We absolutely champion the ‘expert by experience’ approach and believe that those people with lived experience of mental health recovery and wellbeing can be best-placed to support those who are struggling or need some support. We’d love to hear from anyone – potential students, volunteers or professionals who want to know more and get involved in NT LIFE!”
Funded by North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and hosted by North Tyneside VODA, the Recovery College courses are free and available to North Tyneside residents aged 18 and over.