Friday, 26 February 2010

Whats next for the UK Recovery Federation

Have you ever seen a swan, gliding towards its destination, barely causing a ripple on the tranquil surface of the glittering river? Well underneath that swan there are a pair of legs going like the clappers.
Thank you to Peapod for lending me this image.
And so it is with the UK Recovery Federation – our little limbs (unwebbed) are toiling away at a terrific rate beneath the surface until we are ready to rise up in a flurry of splashes and take flight. Enough swans already. Below is a brief update to keep you up to date on what is happening.
Consultation paper
The paper was circulated widely all over the UK and beyond. Feedback was very positive (as you can see on Wired In) with some useful questions and ideas for areas to work on. Thanks to all of you who pondered and commented. But if your pondering is yet to translate into keyboard action do feel free to add thoughts at any time.
It was very nice to receive some warm encouragement from the US, and in particular from Bill White, who said:
“What a wonderful statement! All I wanted to do as I was reading it was shout “Amen!” Let me know if I can be of any help as you move forward. With my very best regards, Bill.”
And from Pat Taylor from Face and Voices of Recovery:
“This is so exciting! I’m going to post a link in the next Faces & Voices eNewsletter so that folks around the country and the world can find out more about what’s happening in the UK ! Looking forward to keeping in touch and excited that you’ve decided on September 25 for your Recovery Rally – we hope to have over 90 events and our goal is 100,000 people in the US rallying on that day – we’ll make sure to talk about it as an international event now. All the very best, Pat.”
The next step is to instigate a further process of wide-ranging consultation in order to develop a UKRF Recovery Manifesto. This will build on the current paper, focusing on Community-led Recovery organisations (CERO’s) and, we hope, lead to concrete actions to take the UKRF forward.
The next step in this process is a conference (sorry Tony) which will be held in Tameside on 7th May. Further details will follow but we are very pleased that Professor David Clark will be flying in from Australia and will be speaking. This conference is open to anyone who has an interest and will be free. The only limitation we may have is on numbers due to space restrictions, so please do get your name down early.
To book a space please e-mail us on:
putting Conference in the subject box. Please give names and any particular needs that you, or anyone attending with you may have in the e-mail.
One of our main tasks at the moment is to build up a database, mapping treatment providers and Recovery organisations out there and attempting to reach those in Recovery outside of treatment and groups . This will be useful in numerous ways, for the UK Recovery Walk 2010, the development of UKRF and to help us answer questions like what groups are available where.
If you are part of a group, even a group of one under development!, do please send us your details giving a brief description of what you do. And if you know of people in a similar situation please do encourage them to do the same. The more information we have the more we can get messages out and in and the easier it will be to link things up.
So do please e-mail us on:
putting Organisation in the subject box and include as much information in the e-mail as you can e.g. where you are based, times, what you do, what you aim to do, contact details etc.
Area representatives
As mentioned in the consultation paper, area representatives will link with Recovery advocates from within their area and, with them, build the UK Recovery Federation membership from the grassroots up. We are aware that this is a somewhat loose ‘job’ description at present, and rightly so as representatives will need to have input into how roles develop.
If this is something that you might see yourself doing – yes, you guessed it! – please e-mail us on:
putting Representative in the subject box and giving a bit of background on yourself.
Now that’s a bit to be going on with. I know sending potentially three different e-mails is a faff but it will help us if you can divide things up in this way. So, don’t forget to firmly etch these dates in your diary Friday 7th May for the Tameside conference and Saturday 25th September for the UK Recovery Walk 2010.
Onwards and upwards

UKRF Consultation Paper

A consultation paper
The UK substance misuse field is currently experiencing change on a profound level, mirroring significant changes within society as the political, social and financial landscape shifts and adapts to challenging new priorities and agendas. The rhetoric of ‘Recovery’ has entered the drug ‘treatment’ system.
‘Recovery Services’ (indicating an apparent shift in focus from treatment/medical models towards community focused social models) are now being commissioned and are springing up all over the UK. Within communities across the UK, Recovery Networks, made up of service users, ex-service users, family members, practitioners, academics, activists and other stakeholders are achieving greater prominence and/or slowly beginning to emerge. A Recovery Academy, which intends to investigate and establish an evidence base for ‘recovery,’ is due to launch early in 2010.
At a recent meeting in Glasgow (22.01.2010) recovery activists met to plan the 2nd UK Recovery Walk that will take place on the 25th of September 2010 in Glasgow. At this meeting it was agreed that there was a need for an ‘umbrella’ community focused organisation to shape, promote and support future annual Recovery Walks and to provide support to Community-led Emergent Recovery Organisations (C.E.R.O.’s) across the UK.
A Community Interest Company (CIC), the ‘UK Recovery Federation’, is to be established and the following outlines the proposed vision, principles, aims and objectives of this company. This has been produced for wide distribution and consultation with all those interested in the development and establishment of a British Recovery Movement.
The UKRF Vision:
The UKRF welcomes the shift toward Recovery practice within treatment systems and will support all efforts to make services optimistic, inclusive, person centred, culturally relevant and effective. However we believe that there needs to be major changes in the way that society helps people overcome substance use and related problems and these changes must be rooted within diverse and inclusive communities.
Recovery solutions should be generated by individuals, families and communities with the active assistance of treatment/support agencies. ‘Treatment’ is a small, although often vital, element in recovery. The UKRF will assist in the development of ‘Recovery Oriented Integrated Systems’ (ROIS) but will principally focus on the raising and maintaining of ‘Recovery Capital/Social Capital’ within Recovery-focused communities.
The UK Recovery Federation (UKRF) envisions a world where the power, hope, healing and potential of Recovery is thoroughly understood and embraced within communities, society and support agencies. We will bring the power and proof of Recovery to everyone in UK.
We intend to combat the discrimination and stigma that is too often associated with addiction and Recovery. We will put a positive face on Recovery through advocacy, education and service. We will generate choices, remove barriers to Recovery and ensure that all people in Recovery and people seeking Recovery are treated with dignity and respect.
The UKRF principles:
1. Honesty, self-awareness and openness lie at the heart of healthy Recovery movements.
2. There are many pathways to Recovery and no individual or organisation has the right to claim ownership of the ‘right pathway.’
3. Recovery embraces harm reduction and abstinence based approaches and does not seek to be prescriptive.
4. Recovery involves the personal, cultural and structural recognition of the need for participative change and transformation.
5. Recovery involves a continual process of change and self-redefinition for individuals, communities and organisations.
6. Recovery challenges all discrimination and transcends shame and stigma.
7. Recovery lies within individuals and communities and is self directed and empowering.
8. Recovery emerges from hope, gratitude and service to others.
9. Recovery is supported by peers and allies within communities.
10. Recovery exists on a continuum of improved health and well-being.
11. Recovery is holistic and has many cultural dimensions.
12. Recovery is a reality.
The UKRF Aims to:
1. Enable Community-Led Emerging Recovery communities (CERO’s) and Recovery Networks to grow and expand across the UK.
2. Establish a membership organisation and a national network of individuals and organisations that will speak out and support local, regional, and national community-led recovery initiatives.
3. Establish an accreditation body that will enable the development of Community-led Emerging Recovery Organisations (CERO’s) and support the establishment of Recovery Oriented Integrated Systems (ROIS’s).
4. Support the development of Recovery advocates/champions in all UK regions
5. Organise events and promote all positive aspects of Recovery, celebrating the Recovery achievements of individuals, communities and organisations.
6. Provide support services and mobilise the thousands of UK citizens in long term Recovery, enabling them, their families, friends and allies to have a voice.
7. Develop and maintain a range of communication tools, change public perceptions of Recovery and support the promotion of effective public policy in the UK.
8. Support individuals, communities and organisations in putting a ‘face’ on Recovery.
9. Support the development and establishment of enhanced Recovery capital within communities and the provision of infrastructure support to Recovery networks, communities and organisations.
10. Support the development of new social enterprises and educational opportunities within Recovery Communities across the UK.
11. Assist Community-led Emerging Recovery Organisations (CERO’s) in the development and maintenance of Recovery focused consortium/partnership arrangements.
12. Support the development of Recovery-oriented guidelines and competency-based Recovery credentials and deliver training within Community-led Emerging Recovery Organisations (CERO’s) and Recovery Oriented Integrated Systems (ROIS’s).
UKRF Objectives:
1. Support a National Recovery event every year.
2. Promote and celebrate innovative community-led Recovery initiatives.
3. Establish the UKRF as a membership organisation and national rallying point for Recovery advocates and ensure individuals, organisations and groups are signposted to appropriate support agencies.
4. Ensure Recovery advocates and networks have access to organisational, training and funding support.
5. Assist Recovery community-led groups in the development of new social enterprise models.
6. Ensure Recovery advocates and networks have access to policy and research support.
7. Support access to Recovery training and consultancy services.
8. Support access to policy makers and the media.
9. Assist the NTA, Scottish Recovery Consortium, commissioners, providers and communities in the development of Recovery Oriented Integrated Systems (ROIS) and ensure that recovering individuals, families and communities are involved in the design and operation of ROIS.
10. Liaise with governmental agencies and advise on the development of innovative Recovery initiatives.
11. Support the development of a national Recovery evidence base and evaluation systems and work creatively with academics, researchers and communities to expand access for Recovery advocates and communities to new evidence and knowledge.
UKRF Structure:
The plan to establish a UKRF is currently supported by a large grassroots membership, the Scottish Recovery Consortium, NTA representatives, foundations, government agencies, Wired In, and many friends of recovery from across the UK.
A UKRF Community Interest Company (CIC) will be established before the end of February 2010. This company will have a Board of Directors that will eventually be made up of regional representatives from across the UK. The majority of Board members will have personal experience of Recovery. These representatives will link with Recovery advocates from within their region and, with them, build the UK Recovery Federation membership from the grassroots up.
National Recovery Walk planning meeting: Update!
Thanks everyone who has responded on the blog and to me personally. So far about 30 of the great and good have confirmed their attendance, so who’s coming? Everyone from family members, charity directors, strategic leads, researchers, service providers, service users, old and new, (many of these doubling as people who have recovered also) from across the whole UK.
A full list of attendees will be published for you perusal and a small report on what happened on the day – we will get someone on the day to volunteer to do this. I have to say, I will be interested to see how well people respond to being asked to doing jobs, commitments etc for nothing other than the feel good factor and the growth of a group of people representative of those interested in assisting people in their search for recovery.
So far so good as I have to tell you I am surprised that already many of those committed to coming along to the first planning meeting have also already committed to offering both financial support and commitment to making the NRW a leading organisation and a success.
So what are NRW trying to do? Well it aims to put a positive face on recovery through advocacy, education, and service, in order to end discrimination surrounding addiction and recovery, open new doors and remove barriers to recovery and ensure that all people in recovery and people seeking recovery are treated with dignity and respect. Sounds simple and straight forward doesn’t it!
Anyway folks, on the day we will also be taking the opportunity to have workshops and discussion around Emerging Recovery Organisations: Governance; Structures and Finance so if anyone wants anything in particular raised or on the agenda for the day please let me know if possible before the 18th of this month.
For those who are still wanting to come but who haven’t yet confirmed yet please do so – either here on the blog or at
See you all on the 22nd January at:
10 am till 4pmScottish Drugs Forum 91 Mitchell Street Glasgow G1 3LNTelephone enquiries – Tel: 07727 255 808Email enquiries –