Over the past few weeks following 10 months of researching, connecting and advocating it feels like we are starting to get somewhere. When I started this journey I had no clue about how higher education organisations worked, I just had a sense that there was a whole community of potential and current students that could thrive within a recovery community on campus. Having seen it in action during my Churchill Fellowship and asked endless questions I couldn’t find a negative.
Influencing the right people has been our biggest challenge, there are many layers of departmental leadership to get through. No opposition to date, it just takes time and patience to get the buy in and agreement. I have to mention Abi our Young People in Recovery Lead who has tirelessly worked to make this happen, she really is a huge asset.
Yesterday we launched a campaign to help raise awareness of why campus based recovery communities are important #RecoveryCommUNITYonCampus.
We are working with Newcastle University to establish the need and get some early traction, we have the luxury of a researcher to gather the data. We are in the early stages with another university and are hopeful of something moving soon.
Sober accommodation is a real asset for students and providers alike and not surprisingly we have interest from landlords. Who wouldn’t want students in recovery?
We couldn’t do this without support from collegiate recovery leaders in the US who have freely shared their expertise. As a legacy of my Winston Churchill fellowship I am developing a website that will help share our learning and offer some guidance for others who can influence their local education providers. Please get in touch if you want to know more.