Co-producing and re-connecting: a pilot study of recovery community engagement

EDWARDS, Michael, SOUTER, Josie and BEST, David (2018). Co-producing and re-connecting: a pilot study of recovery community engagement. Drugs and Alcohol Today, 18 (1), 39-50.

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss the design and methodology of the REC-CONNECT project and to determine whether a co-produced approach to research in this area between those with lived experience, those delivering recovery support, and those investigating recovery evidence, generated greater project impact. Design/methodology/approach: A co-productive approach was taken during project planning, training delivery, data collection and community connecting activity. Workshop evaluations were collected at each training session that provided data on worker/peer volunteer wellbeing, workshop efficacy and organisational factors. Community connectors used REC-CAP for evaluating improvements in clients’ community engagement. Findings: Whilst co-production as a research approach broke down barriers between theory and practice and delivered a wider community asset map, a number of hurdles emerged: buy-in of all participants; culture/competing agendas; overcoming sense of disenfranchisement of people in recovery; and resources, tools and timescales of research requirements. Research limitations/implications: This is a small study in Sheffield. As such, data are limited. However, the implications spread to other vulnerable groups in other areas are evidenced, and the principles offer sustainability and partnership that go beyond time-limited projects. Social implications: Co-production as an approach to research in the substance misuse field has a meaningful impact on the “end-user” of people in recovery through empowerment, better connected recovery pathways and evidence-to-practice-based support models. Originality/value: The project advanced the emerging principle of reciprocal asset-based community development and designed a co-produced model to create a team of professional, volunteer and peer community connectors to engage and connect new individuals to recovery with existing community assets, and who themselves emerged as a community asset through the project

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Law Research Group
Identification Number:
Page Range: 39-50
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2018 13:44
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2021 23:36

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