How long are the courses?

The courses vary in length – some may be a single two hour session, whereas other courses may be weekly for up to twelve weeks. The courses would not usually last more than one term and would not usually be more than once or twice a week. Please see the prospectus which includes details of the length of courses and their dates and times.


How many courses can I apply for at once?

You can apply for up to two courses at any one time, with priority going to the first course. This is to ensure equity and also we have found that most people find up to three courses in any one term is about right. If there are spaces available you might be offered another course.


Who teaches the course?

All courses are taught by a peer trainer with lived expertise or personal experience of mental health challenges alongside a trainer who is a mental health professional. The peer trainer will also have a teaching qualification. Trainers may be employed by any of the partner organisations such as Sussex Partnership, Southdown, Coastal west Sussex Mind, Together Richmond Fellowship, Sussex Oalkleaf.  


How do I book onto a course?

All courses for this term are advertised in this prospectus and on our website. You can either complete the registration form included in this prospectus and post it to us, or you can visit out website, download and complete the form then email it to us. 

Can I be sent a copy of the prospectus? 

Yes, if you call or e-mail us we can post or e-mail you a copy of our latest prospectus. 

Where can I find out more information about a course?

To find out more about a specific course either attend one of our open days or contact us directly and we will put you in touch with a course trainer. 

When are the next open days?

We hold open days in each campus area at the beginning of every term - the dates, times and locations of our open days may vary, so for the details of your next open day either visit our website or contact us directly. 

When can I contact the Sussex Recovery College team? 

You can contact us by phone Monday to Friday between the hours of 09:00 - 17:00 - our course sessions are normally held between the hours of 10:00 and 16:00 Monday to Friday. 

Can I book onto courses being delivered in another area?

You can apply for courses in different parts of the county, but priority will be given to students living in the campus area of the course. This does not apply to the Brighton and Hove Recovery College - students living in East or West Sussex cannot access courses in Brighton or Hove.

Are refreshments provided on courses? 

There will be water to drink on your course - we are unable to provide any other refreshments.

Do I have to pay to attend a course?

All of our courses are free to adults of all ages with mental health related challenges, their supporters (relatives or carers) the staff of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and partner organisations. 

Can I travel with a Buddy to and from a course by car? 

A Buddy cannot drive a student to and from a course or travel with you in your own car, but all of our Buddies are very happy to support you to be able to travel on public transport. 


How long after applying will I have to wait to be accepted on a course?

Usually the administrator will contact you within two weeks of your application in order to book you in for an individual learning planning (ILP) meeting with one of the trainers. At this meeting you will have the chance to think about your goals and where you are at in relation to them and to think about your learning support needs. You can finalise your choices here. You will also find out about which courses you have a place on at this meeting. If you have not heard from us two weeks after applying, please do get in touch.

Will you write in my notes?

We will let your mental health team know what courses you are planning to attend, and what the course is about. We will let them know by writing this in your notes. We will also let them know how many sessions you attended. We will not usually write details about your participation in the notes. The exception is that we will contact your mental health team or GP if we are particularly worried about your wellbeing or mental health or if we think there are risks that you may harm yourself or someone else.

You may find it helpful to discuss what you learn on the course and your progress with your care team.




Who can apply to attend the college?

The college is open to people in Sussex who experience moderate to severe mental health challenges, their relatives, friends and carers and the staff of Recovery College partner organisations. Some courses are designed to promote the engagement of marginalised groups and so are only open to these people, for example people with dementia, people with learning disabilities, people in acute inpatient units, people from BME background or LGBT community. Please note Brighton and Hove campus courses are only open to people with mental health challenges who live in Brighton and Hove and their carers, or staff from partner organisations of the Recovery College.

Do I need to be well to attend the college?

How much you want to attend the college is more important than how well you are. The college does not discriminate against people on the basis of how well they are. You will meet with a trainer to discuss any particular support needs you may have at an individual learning plan – we may be able to provide you with extra support to enable you to attend when you are less well. Some people prefer to take time off from classes when they are unwell, this is also Ok but please do let your trainers know.

Do I need to have a mental health issue to attend the college?

You need to have a mental health issue or be a relative, friend or carer of someone with mental health issues or be a member of staff of one of the partner organisations. Currently the college is free to people with moderate to severe mental health challenges, their supporters (relatives, friends and carers) and staff.

If you are someone with mild to moderate mental health challenges you can access different support and courses though primary care services:

Health in Mind in East Sussex - 0300 00 30 130

Brighton and Hove Wellbeing Service - 0300 002 0060

Time to Talk in West Sussex


Do I need a referral from my doctor or care co-ordinator before I apply?

No, you don’t need a referral in order to apply to the college. People can choose to register with the college and make up their own minds what courses they think will help. However we will ask you who your care co-ordinator or other mental health worker is and we will let them know what course you are planning to attend. A mental health professional may look at the prospectus and help you apply if you want them to or you can ring the college and we can help you.

Where is the Recovery College?

The college has it's administrative headquarters at Aldrington House in Hove but is divided into seven local campuses. Each campus has a central point and Courses take place in local venues.

Please see the our campuses information under the About tab for more details about each of the campuses or please download the prospectus.

Venues include:

East Sussex
Brighton and Hove
West Sussex
Cavendish House BEMCP Richmond Fellowship
Bexhill Your Way Friends Centre  
Hastings Your Way New England House  
Woodlands Aldrington House  
  Vallance House  
Eastbourne Cornerstone  
Aveneida Lodge East Brighton CMHC  
St Mary's House Millview  
Amberstone, Hailsham    
Department of Psychiatry    
Eastbourne Fire Station    
Friston Forest    
High Weald Lewes Havens    
Newhaven Your Way    
Lewes Your Way    
Hill Rise, Newhaven    
Bellbrook Centre, Uckfield    
Lewes House of Friendship    
Woodside, Hellingly    


Learning Support

What will I need to bring to the course sessions?

Usually you will need to bring a pen and paper to class.If you forget to bring them, don’t worry, still come along and we can usually lend you stationary. There may be some classes where you need to wear more relaxed clothing or sportswear – you will learn about this at your individual learning plan session.

Will there be anyone (a buddy) to help me attend sessions?

Yes, we can arrange for you to have a buddy to help you attend sessions. Buddies are volunteers who support students to get to college. This might include going to meet you at home and travelling to courses together or attending courses with you. During registration and when we first meet you, we’ll ask you about any physical, mental or learning disabilities, and other support needs you may have. We can then match you with a buddy. We can also send you text reminders to help you remember when your course is.

Do I need to bring my carer to college with me if I have one?

You don’t need to bring your carer to college if you have one, however you are welcome to bring them if you want to. Equally your relative or carer may want to attend a course in their own right. Some carers have attended in order to share the information they learn with the person they care about, others for their own benefit.

What is an ILP or Individual Learning Plan

Individual Learning Plans (ILPs) are a central part of your student journey. They are a way you and the Recovery College can evaluate your learning experiences and progress. You will work together with a trainer to develop the plan. It records your own goals in attending the college and any learning support needs you may have. It will be used on your courses to track your progress and achievements. 

The ILP meeting is a chance to meet with a trainer to discuss any support needs you may have. We can then provide adaptations. For example, we can offer Easyread or large print handouts, arrange hearing loops or help with other access requirements. We can also provide buddies to help you if you need assistance to travel to the college from home or to give you confidence to enter or stay in class.

Setting targets or learning goals is proven to help students to move on in your recovery and get the most out of your studies. At the end of your course we will ask you to review these goals and the course outcomes in a post-course ILP. This will help you measure your own progress, record your achievements and decide your next steps.

As well as you using the ILP to track your progress, information will also be used anonymously to evaluate the college itself.


Other Information

How do I apply for a course?

You can apply by filling in the registration form on this website and then the course booking form. Or you can download or pick up a copy of the prospectus and complete and send it to us. Please do phone the college on 0300 303 8086 (or for Brighton campus only: 01273 749500) and we can give you help to decide what courses you want to take and to fill in the application form.

Do the courses cost anything to attend?

Currently all courses at the Recovery College are free to attend for people with moderate to severe mental health challenges, their supporters (relatives, friends and carers) and staff from partner organisations.

How long after applying will I have to wait to be accepted on a course?

Usually the administrator will contact you within two weeks of your application to confirm a date for your individual meeting (ILP) with one of the Recovery College trainers. At this ILP we will confirm which courses you have a place on or if you have been put on the researve list for any courses that are full.

We will get back to you within two weeks of receiving your registration forms if the courses you have applied for are already full. If you do not hear from us within two weeks, please give us a call.

If you are on a reserve list we will let you know before teh course starts if a place becomes available. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend a course you are booked on so we may allocate the place to someone else. The reserve list applies to the current term only and is not carried forward to the next term.

Will I be able to claim travelling or other expenses from the college?

Please discuss this with the college or with your care co-ordinator.

Will you write in my notes?

We will let your mental health team know what courses you are planning to attend, and what the course is about, and write this in your notes. We will also let them know how many sessions you have attended. We will not usually write details about your participation in the notes. The exception is that we will contact your mental health team or GP if we are particularly worried about your wellbeing or mental health or if we think there are risks that you may harm yourself or someone else.

How can I get involved with the Recovery College?

Find out how you can be part of the Recovery college by becoming a peer trainer, buddy or student rep under the getting involved section of this website.


How can I get help in a crisis

If you need help urgently or outside of office hours, please contact:

  • Sussex Mental Health Line: 0300 5000101
  • The Samaritans on 08457 909090
  • Your local A&E department
  • Your GP (including out of hours service)


 What do you expect from me as a student?

We expect students to:

  •  arrive on time and to let us know if they are unable to attend a course or specific teaching session for whatever reason.
  •  be repectful of each other, the trainers and other people involved with the college.
  •  let us know how we can support their learning and wellbeing whislt attending courses.
  •  come to college to learn and work towards their own goals.

Sussex Recovery College has a student charter and code of conduct which outlines more about what we expect from you and what you can expect from us. This has been devised or co-produced by Recovery College staff (including peer trainers, other trainers and admin staff) working closely with the student union.

Is the college right for me?

You are the best person to decide whether the recovery college is right for you. The Recovery College is for adults of all ages in Sussex with mental health or related challenges (where these are longstanding, moderate or severe or mean that you use the services of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust now or in the past six months). You are likely to benefit from attending the college if you have a mental health challenge that impacts negatively on your life or want to build on your recovery. You can also be a carer, a member of family or a practitioner or member of staff working for one of the partner organisations. You need to be able to attend public spaces (with a carer / buddy if needed) and want to learn and set goals towards recovery. 

Contact us

East and West Sussex campuses

Telephone: 0300 303 8086

Email: Sussex.recoverycollege@nhs.net


Recovery College

Education and Training

Aldrington House

New Church Road




Brighton and Hove campus 

For Brighton and Hove campus only please contact:

Telephone: 01273 749500

Email: recoverycollege@southdownhousing.org


Brighton & Hove Recovery College

42 Frederick Place


BN1 1EA 

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