It’s a predictable thing for us to say – but it genuinely has been a brilliant year for this charity. Our enterprises have gone from strength to strength, welcoming new members and staff, building resilience and connections across Sheffield. And the charity has grown, introducing our flagship digital and real life project Sheffield Flourish. It’s been demanding but exciting, challenging but rewarding this year.
New Team Members
We started 2016 by welcoming our very first Finance and Governance Manager, Terry Scully who has become our organisational rock and has done an incredible job of building our financial systems and supporting our grassroots enterprises to grow! Next in was Lisa Thompson-Cox, our Volunteer Co-ordinator, who brought a wealth of experience and a diverse range of talents (from builder to compere) she has earnt the nick name ‘Super Woman’ and not just because she is a serious Marvel fan! Jo Eckersley joined us as our Digital Marketing and Content Manager just two weeks before we were due to launch Sheffield Flourish. Being thrown in at the deep end didn’t put Jo off, her calm head and amazing ability to cut through the noise and communicate a message with a wonderful tone and simplicity has served us well! We haven’t seen much of Alison, our Administrator this year as she has been on maternity leave with her very charming baby boy!
Pam Stirling (Chair) and the Recovery Enterprises Board have been really busy at a strategic level, but have always been ready to step in and support the team and the enterprises when needed. We now have eight board members covering a breadth of talents including digital, education, health, finance, business development and much more. Our Board is ambitious, not for organisational growth but for impact and reach. This year they have enabled us to be innovative and quick to respond to changing circumstances but also resilient and strong in holding the line on our values and culture of purposeful kindness. I must congratulate one of our Board Directors Professor Brendan Stone on his recent well-deserved prestigious leadership award for the work he has led to improve patient experience in his many roles!
Our community enterprises have each had their own successes this year.
Congratulations to Chrissie, Neil and the whole volunteer team at CAST for not just the super flagship exhibition ‘Bridges not Barriers’ but for all the consistent hard work and activities that they make happen every week! Art classes, creative writing workshops and open mic nights, each giving people a chance to enjoy getting together in a caring supportive environment doing stuff they love to do. Special thanks to Anne and Keith who have done so much this year to help generate funds for CAST applying for funding and selling cards.
Oasis has come on in leaps and bounds with a super new video to showcase what they get up to down at the allotment and polytunnels. We’ve had a big increase in volunteers this year and have welcomed Fran to work alongside Tim and John in organising and also delivering our gardening contracts (Do get in touch if you need your garden tended too). We have so many volunteers I can’t mention everyone but I must say thank you to James for your commitment and amazing story telling, Seagar who puts ‘the Apprentice’ candidates to shame with his fabulous sales banter and Abdul who sings, smiles and makes great soup despite all the challenges that life has thrown at him!
This year we have also begun working with Tammy, who is building a Compassion Convoy, spreading the word on the value of self-compassion in the work place and beyond. With support from Ben, she has begun to design and deliver workshops, collate and produce related resources and even making her own short films.
We have also been working in partnership with SHSC, Brunsmeer FC, the Football Association and a team of enthusiastic OT’s and people living with mental health conditions to build Brunsmeer Awareness Football Club! They got a mention in an Winter Gardens exhibition about Football stories in Sheffield!
One of our original enterprises Hudson and General has been ticking along nicely, selling beautiful crates but also a message about the potential of finding what ‘lights your fire’ and using that as part of your recovery. The founder, Andrew Hudson, made a really inspiring film with Picture Stories for Sheffield Flourish earlier this year.
We have also been developing an Associate Network which our Associate Kate Quail who helped us set it up earlier this year. More news on that in the New Year – watch this space!
After two years of supporting community enterprise, Recovery Enterprise began to consider how it could upscale its impact by developing a well-being hub. With Human Studio on our Board the talk soon turned to the idea of a Digital Well-being Hub. Fast forward to this summer and Sheffield Flourish was born. We launched our beta (first stage) platform on 18 July along with four wonderful Recovery films. Since then we have had over 3,500 users, there are 40+ volunteers creating and editing the content and helping others to go online and use Sheffield Flourish. We had a talented medical student working with us in November who carried out the first Insight Panel study exploring the impact of Sheffield Flourish. The results were astounding with 100% of respondents saying that their confidence had grown, 75% have experienced an increase in peer and self-care support and 89% have got involved in new activities and grown new social connections and skills.
Rotherham Flourish also began to blossom this year with Shirin leading creative story telling workshops which produced some wonderful stories and new friendships.
In addition to the work we do on the ground we have also been working on influencing the wider context. Underpinning everything we do is challenging stigma, in particular, as you will hear Brendan say in our audio manifesto, we are pushing for people to be valued beyond their mental health conditions as partners, leaders and experts! Earlier in the year we co-hosted a national event to highlight how we can work together with ‘Patients as Partners’. It was an excellent session and even got a mention in the Guardian by Joan Sadler MBE. We have been involved in a number of national events and activities including the International Technology Enabled Care conference, the Chief Allied Health Professional Officers annual conference and People Drive Digital 2016. We finished off the year on a high, shortlisted for the VAS Making a Difference Community Engagement Award. We came in second to a very worthy cause; Buzz!
This year we have had fantastic financial and other valuable support from our key partners University of Sheffield, Human Studio, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS FT, Sheffield Hospital Charity, Big Lottery, Yorkshire and Humber Academic Health Science Network. We have also had support from many other local organisations and groups including Hive, Now Then, The Town Trust and the Harry Bottom Trust.
The success of this year is down to our whole diverse network of people and organisations with a range of backgrounds, talents and ideas working together with shared purpose and values. The co-creation of communities that share and are well connected is an essential part of building resilience and responsiveness in the face of the uncertainty in which we are all operating. It’s not just fun, or a nice thing to do, it is essential.
Next year look out for further developments in our strategic and delivery partnerships and our digital wellbeing hub, some exciting events and more growth in our impact.
Thank you to everyone that has made a contribution to Recovery Enterprises this year. It has been a privilege to work alongside you. Go well over the Christmas period, keep warm and as Tammy would say be kind and compassionate to yourselves.
PS Here are some of shots of some of the people involved in Recovery Enterprises photographed at our AGM