In our blog co-production group, we spoke about graduation – the celebration of three terms at the college of the achievements made by each student on their recovery journey. Matt, one of our bloggers, went along to the summer graduation on Wednesday 31 July.
Below he explains the planning of the day and his experience at the graduation as an ex-student of the college.
The college team start setting up at 7:45am, getting the tables ready with flowers in the middle of each one, balloons on the walls all the way round the room, nice music and pictures on the screen of both students and the college team and volunteers.
Students and their guests arrived for about 10:30am at Nottingham Recovery College. There they were met by one of the Peer Trainers or a volunteer; they were then taken upstairs to the big conference room. At about 10:45am Helen Brown, the Nottingham Recovery College manager, did the introduction and explained how the day would go. Helen then spoke about what the Recovery College is and how it has evolved over the years and what students do there. Students and guests were then asked to write their name on a piece of card, and then asked to write one positive word for each letter of their name. After a short while they were asked if anyone wanted to speak about what words they had put. A few people did, after which the Chief Executive John Brewin spoke about his job and role and what words he had put for each letter of his name.
We then had guest speakers from POHWER, Nottingham College, the Red Cross Connecting Communities and Towards Work. Each of the guests had stalls so students and their guests could go and have a chat and get information, hopefully looking for their next steps. Students then had the chance to review their goals that they had written last term and were also asked to fill out a next steps questionnaire. We then had lunch, after which we watched videos of ex-students talking about their time at the college and how it has helped them. We then had one ex-student Ravelle-Sade who spoke about her journey and read out some of her own poems, and finally it was time for the certificates which were handed out by Non Executive Director, Stephen Banks. Students had the chance to have a photo with their certificates if they wanted one, and at the end of the celebrations the students did a group photo with the Peer Trainers which brought summer graduation 2019 to a close.
We are keen to showcase our students’ recovery journeys. If you are a former student of the Nottingham Recovery College and would like to be interviewed for our blog, please get in touch with us either through the College admin team or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Nottingham Recovery College courses are available if you, or someone you care for, have an open referral into secondary mental health services in Nottinghamshire. If you are unsure about our eligibility criteria please contact us.
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