This week Recovery Enterprises hosted it’s AGM. We celebrated the past achievements and the time, effort and commitment that many different people have put into growing the foundations of Recovery Enterprises. We also looked to the future sharing our vision and plans for how we will be contributing to co-creating the conditions where people in recovery can flourish.
I started working with Recovery Enterprises in May of this year and I have been amazed by the culture of hope, kindness and humility that runs through the network of people who are involved. This culture is very precious and something to be purposefully nurtured as we grow in the next few years.
There is also an authentic sense of shared purpose. We are fundamentally about challenging stigma around mental health and together breaking down traditional paternalistic and deficit approaches and attitudes. Our shared purpose is to create the conditions where people in recovery grow in confidence, skills, knowledge and connections and learn to value and unleash their enterprising talents and creativity.
The people involved in Recovery Enterprises are incredibly talented, purposeful and ambitious for positive change. I have never before worked with such an engaged Board who are focused and strategic yet always willing to roll their sleeves up, for example, in my first week, Tim our Oasis Garden Lead, had the Board down at the allotment one evening to help clear up! We have volunteers from many walks of life, some get involved with community enterprises and others like Anne, Keith and Michael come into our offices and help behind the scenes. I have to give a special mention to Chrissie who does an amazing job of voluntarily co-ordinating CAST.
We also work closely with and are warmly supported by Sheffield Health and Social Care Foundation Trust and the Sheffield Hospitals Charity Trust.
So how will Recovery Enterprises support people to flourish over the next two years?
We will be building on our strong foundations and supporting existing and new community enterprises/grassroots groups, for example:
- Working with Chrissie and others at CAST to develop their ideas, e.g. selling cards and a mentoring programme
- Working with Tim, John and others at Oasis to engage more volunteers and develop Oasis Contracting (Do contact Tim Oasis@recoveryenterprises.co.uk if you need your garden attended to)
- Supporting enterprises like Sheffield Arts and Well-being Network and a Football Recovery Group to develop their funding potential through governance and infrastructural support
- Providing project development support to ‘experts by experience’ such as Tammy and Catherine who are developing a Compassion Convoy idea.
We are also very excited about our new Big Lottery Funded Digital Well-being Hub which we are going to call Sheffield Flourish.
The primary purpose of the hub is to support people to flourish in the context of recovery and enterprise. Think of it as a virtual meeting place, where a community of people can meet, connect, inspire and support each other. It will focus on storytelling, peer and mentoring support and on building dynamic content about information, activities, apps and volunteering and enterprise opportunities. It will also link to our offline support for community enterprises and to the Sheffield Education Exchange.
We want to build something which is high quality, engaging and cutting edge and which adds value and enhances what we already have in the city and most importantly is co-created by the people who will use it. All of these functions were identified through our previous research and conversations.
We are very lucky to be working with one of Sheffield’s finest digital design teams, Human Studio, if you haven’t seen their work, check out their website and you will see why we are confident of the quality of Sheffield Flourish.
We are also working in close partnership with the University of Sheffield and brilliant Storying Sheffield on the vision, principles and content of the site so there is also no doubt on the thoughtfulness, ethics and consideration which is underpinning our approach.
We are delighted to introduce our two new members of our team who will be helping us to make Sheffield Flourish a reality. Georgina Barrett is our new Digital Engagement and Communications Manager who will be the project lead for Sheffield Flourish and responsible for content management and Alison Smith who will engage and support volunteers and administer the monitoring and evaluation systems.
We will take the approach of blending technology with the real world where we live and in using digital as tool to achieve our ambitions we have a responsibility around digital inclusion. We know there are many financial, social and other barriers to some people getting the full benefit from the ever increasing digital resources available whether it be Fitbit, Twitter, Elefriends, Mybuddy, booking GP Appointments, paying bills or shopping online.
We have already begun working with Sue Sibbald, Patient Opinion, YooMee, Tinder Foundation and others to explore how digital resources can support recovery, what gets in the way and how to lift these barriers in a pilot funded by the People Driven Digital Innovation Fund led by MHealthHabitat.
Building partnerships and collaboration with people and organisations who share our values in the golden thread running through Recovery Enterprises. We are here to support, enhance and make the most of what we already have in our city. Sheffield is full of community building experience and social and digital innovation and we hope to play a role in raising the profile and making the most of all of those valuable assets.
As Helen Keller said ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much’. This encapsulates what Recovery Enterprises is here to do, bring people, organisations, communities and resources together to support people in recovery to flourish.
Roz Davies, Recovery Enterprises Managing Director
If you would like to get involved with Sheffield Flourish please do get in contact with us email@example.com We will shortly be launching a volunteer recruitment process and we are also interested and open in working collaboratively with others across the city.