At the beginning of the year, Recovery Devon asked its members to complete a survey about ways to get involved and stay in touch, such as regular meetings, activities or newsletters. Here are the results and what Recovery Devon plans to do next.

A lot of the people who completed the survey were in favour of starting up the regular meetings again – one person summed up the purpose of the meetings well by envisaging Regular bi-monthly or quarterly meetings that – “offer hope, share research and best practice, that challenge isolation of individuals, families and carers”. There was most support for gatherings with a theme, with the favourite ideas being various mental health treatments and approaches, peer support, or arts and creativity. Many people also wanted meetings with specialist speakers, such as academics and researchers.

About half the respondents liked the idea of organised activities, with organised walks, book groups, or creative workshops.

Nearly everyone wanted a newsletter, but there was less enthusiasm for starting an online forum. Although people said it could be used for sharing information and providing support, there were some concerns about how to moderate a forum and make sure that the comments were appropriate and helpful, and some felt that the Recovery Exchange already provided a good route for discussion and staying in touch.

At our Board meeting in March we looked at the survey results and now plan to re-start Recovery Devon’s regular meetings in the autumn of this year. In October we will be getting together to celebrate the projects supported this year through the Development Fund, and we should be able to let everyone know the dates and plans for the meetings then. We are keen to make sure that the meetings happen in various places across Devon and that they are in familiar venues which are easy to access, so that as many people as possible can attend. Attendees can claim travel costs and we are hoping to be able to offer lifts to people who have difficulty with public transport.

We published a newsletter in January, planning perhaps 2 a year. Since this is in demand we will now look to increasing the frequency. However, we are always working with limited resources and the newsletter takes a lot of work to pull together. If you enjoy design, working with desk-top-publishing or a similar interest, perhaps you would like to help out? While we will work to support someone in developing their skills, you would need a reasonable level of ability already. If you’d be interested in donating some time (with some expenses paid) contact us.

We are working on a regular newsletter and would always be happy to hear from anyone who has a contribution. Do you have a story to share? Would you like to let us know about a meeting or an event? Have you read any good books lately? Let us know.

A big thank you to all who took part in the survey. If you have any further thoughts or any contribution towards the newsletter please contact us!

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