Frequently asked questions

Why is it important for a person with lived experience to co-produce and co-deliver all the courses?

People with lived experience model recovery and are able to instil hope in others. They provide insight and inspiration to people who receive services, Buckinghamshire Recovery College staff and other supporters.

How is the content of the courses designed?

All courses delivered by Buckinghamshire Recovery College are co-designed and will be co-delivered by a tutor with lived experience of mental health challenges, and an NHS employee or expert from an external organisation. All courses will go through a rigorous quality assurance process. The Recovery College is based on college principles but uses courses that have been designed and are delivered jointly by people with lived experience of mental health problems, carers and people who work and volunteer in mental health services. Recovery is at the very heart of all our courses. You are in control and can choose the course or courses that are of interest to you and that will help you on your recovery journey.

I care for somebody who has mental health challenges – can I attend courses?

The Recovery College acknowledges and understands the importance of carers, family and friends. Some of our courses have been co-developed and delivered by carers. You just enrol at the Recovery College as normal.

Where can I get more information from?

More information about the college can be found in our “contact us” section.

Is food and drink provided?

Most of the venues offer tea and coffee, but sometimes this may need to be purchased. We are not able to provide lunch and snacks, but you are welcome to bring your own lunch and snacks when you attend courses. Our main hub The Whiteleaf Centre also has a café where you can purchase food and drink.

How will the college monitor my learning?

Each student will develop an Individual Learning Plan (ILP) with a tutor. Your ILP will help you monitor your learning and chart your progress towards attaining the learning goals you set. Your ILP will be reviewed during your studying and after graduation. This is essential to help you to monitor your own learning and see your progression towards achieving the goals you identified.

What’s in it for me?

Courses offered at the college will help develop your knowledge and skills about recovery and mental health. Your study at the college may be a stepping stone to other learning opportunities and/or may be part of your personal/professional development.

What does it cost?

All courses are currently free if you meet our eligibility criteria.

Who are the tutors?

Tutors for the courses may be peers, Oxford Health staff or staff from other organisations. All tutors will be qualified to teach at the college and under go training specifically for this purpose.

Will I have to do an exam?

No. Some courses may offer a formal assessment which you can do if you like, and you will have the opportunity to reflect on what you have learned, but for most courses there is no written exam.

I don’t want to do lots of reading and writing. Is there a suitable course for me?

People learn in lots of different ways. The tutors may suggest some reading but there will also be opportunities to learn through talking and listening, activities and exercises. Each session will be different as the students will bring their own individual contribution to the session.

Where do the courses take place?

The courses are run at different venues all over Buckinghamshire. Addresses are listed in each course description.

How do I enrol on a course?

Complete an expression of interest form. This can be done by post, online, via email or by phone.

How can I find out more?

We are always happy to speak with you about anything regarding the courses we offer.

Is it learning for learning’s sake?

No, is the short answer! The aim of the Buckinghamshire Recovery College is to help students to achieve their personal goals. This is why, alongside you, we work on developing your own ‘Individual Learning Plan’. The plan will ask you to identify both short term and long term goals; it is the responsibility of Buckinghamshire Recovery College to support you in both setting these goals and in supporting you to achieve these goals. The idea of setting goals might be a little daunting but there really is nothing to worry about. The purpose is to ask you to think about what it is that you might want to do, or what skills you might like to gain, which will then help you in your everyday life.

Do I need books, or other equipment for the classes?

It might be helpful for you to bring along a notebook and pen. Any other materials that you might need will be provided by the course trainer. We have a selection of books in our library that you might find interesting also.

What if I can’t attend?

It is really important for you to attend all the sessions for your course. We do understand that there are sometimes unexpected events or emergencies and in these instances, we ask that you contact the Recovery College and let us know with at least 24h notice that you won’t be attending. If you miss several sessions, we will offer an opportunity to meet and discuss any possible issues that may be preventing you from learning on that particular course.

If you would like to withdraw your place on the whole course, please let us know as then your place can be offered to someone else. It is also possible to defer your place on a course until the next term.

What if I don’t like the course?

Well, that’s ok! We review the content of each course regularly, and so your feedback (both positive and negative) can help us to design and offer courses that meet the needs of our students. If you would like to swap onto another course just speak with our Buckinghamshire Recovery College co-ordinator who will be able to help you.

Page last reviewed: 16 December, 2022