About us

Who We Are

Welcome to Sunderland Recovery College. We offer a range of free recovery focused educational courses for people with lived mental health experience, their friends and family.

Our courses are free and designed to contribute to recovery and well-being, supporting you to recognise your own talent and resourcefulness. We help you to become experts in your own self management; make informed choices and achieve the things you want to achieve in your life.

No referral is required to attend our courses. You simply need to enrole at one of our enrolement days. It's an easy process, but please bear in mind our courses are popular and full up quickly - so best get their early on enrolement day!

Sunderland Recovery College is committed to customer and carer involvement in all aspects of its development, including feedback from students attending courses.

We envisage the recovery courses will develop and increase over time and we look forward to your help in doing this. Sunderland Recovery College has a philosophy of shared development and shared delivery and shared decision making.

The Team

Kim Dobson

Kim is the Centre Manager and guides the direction of the Recovery College.

Viva Valentine

Viva is a Senior Peer Support Worker and supports the college from the perspective of lived experience.

Claire Liddy

Claire is a Peer Support Worker and supports the college courses and its outreach projects further afield.

Our Principles

We know that Recovery is a personal journey. You may already have, or at least are developing, your own definition of what recovery means to you. Our approach is based upon the five key principles of recovery:


The understanding that if you are experiencing mental health difficulties, you can get well, stay well - and go on to meet their life dreams and goals.


That you are in control. With the assistance of others, you can take action and do what needs to be done to keep yourself well.


That through learning and education regarding what you are currently experiencing, you can make good decisions about all aspects of you life.


That by effectively reaching out to others, you can get what you need, want and deserve to support your wellness and recovery.


That by receiving support from others, and giving support to others, you can feel better and enhance the quality of your life.

Find out more

Here is a 20 minute video we made with more about who we are and what we do.