Building Recovery Systems and Communities
“Recovery communities are independent but their creation must have strategic support from those involved in delivering public health outcomes from within the local authority. Recovery communities are not a threat to treatment services but they are, and should always be, independent. Commissioners of new systems need to ensure that recovery communities are sufficiently resourced. Moreover, these resources need to be tied to the most flexible of governance arrangement. If possible a dedicated recovery community centre could be provided. Probably the best UK example of this can be found in Halifax, Calderdale at the Basement Project.”
Mark Gilman, Strategic Recovery Lead for Public Health England
In recent years the idea that recovery from addiction is possible has been inspiring individuals, communities and organisations to explore the benefits that recovery brings to the whole society. The recent ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ outlined the latest national policy intentions to develop a “new treatment system based on recovery” identifying three guiding principles to this system of “wellbeing, citizenship and freedom from dependence”. There is much talk in Public Health circles about Co-Production, Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) and the importance of Social Relationships. The national health policy, the economic drivers and the growing evidence base of the benefits of asset-based approaches and co-production as the organising principles create an opportunity to develop local solutions to address this challenge. Undoubtedly the need for recovery oriented care is now widely accepted at all levels. The challenge is how to ensure that commissioners, providers and service users themselves are able to engage effectively with these agendas.
Following our inception in 2006 The Basement Recovery Project (TBRP) has been at the forefront of pioneering new ways of delivering services and developing recovery communities (TBRP) in the Yorkshire area. Through utilizing our model of ‘dig, develop and devolve’ TBRP aspires for people to become community assets, rather than community deficits, and we believe the environments we create are unique in supporting our ambitions for people. Today we would like to share our experience and knowledge with others to help to build communities and new systems across the country.