Reading Compass Launch Event

Compass Recovery College Launch Event

RESIDENTS are invited to a free event celebrating the range of services and support available from Reading’s Compass Recovery College.

The event aims to reach out to people who might not be aware of what the college can offer for those experiencing mental health challenges. It also aims to signpost to the multitude of mental health services, support and advice available in the borough.

The event on Wednesday 22nd February is being held at Greyfriars Church in Friar Street and runs between 11am and 2pm.

The deputy Major of Reading, Rose Williams and Councillor Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Member for Health, will open the event in

Compass Recovery College
Compass Recovery College

the morning, followed by a range of speakers talking about the benefits of attending the college.

There will be two workshops running during the day: ‘Understanding Recovery’ and ‘How a Recovery College Works’. There will be the opportunity for people to enrol at the Recovery College throughout the day.

Information stands manned by various organisations, community groups and charities will run throughout the day for people who cannot stay for the whole time, including representatives from IRiS, Earley Crescent Centre, Sports in Mind, RVA, Reading Library Service, New Directions, SEAP, Berkshire Women’s Aid and Solutions4health.

Compass will be promoting the college’s new Spring/Summer prospectus – which offers courses ranging from ‘Recovery through Creativity’, ‘Mindfulness’, ‘Skills for Life’ to ‘Getting a Good Night’s Sleep’ and ‘Food for Mood’.

The Recovery College aims to promote good mental health and improve mental wellbeing. All the courses are free and are designed and delivered by people with lived experience of mental health challenges, clinical staff and other professionals.

The college launched in September 2016. It is funded by Reading Council and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, and supported by a number of organisations, including New Directions.

The college is open to anyone over the age of 18 with lived experience of mental illness, as well as their friends, family, carers or mental health practitioners and clinicians.

Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Lead Member for Health and the Council’s Mental Health Champion, said:  “I’m pleased to support this event and I hope people will drop by to find out more about what Compass can offer.

“The college hopes to meet the needs of every student that wishes to develop and take control to manage their life. There is a strong commitment to have service users shape the future direction of the college.

“Meaningful activities are important in helping people rebuild their lives after experiencing mental health problems. The right activities help people to develop new skills for living and working, and stronger social relationships.

“Unfortunately, due to major government funding cuts, we must now look to how we can make the most of our limited resources, whilst maximizing the benefit to users of the mental health services. We believe the services available at Compass will link users to support which has a focus on promoting self-reliance and personal development.”

Cllr Rachel Eden, Reading’s Lead Member for Adult Social Care, said:

“This event is a perfect complement to the Brighter Berkshire, Year of Mental Health 2017 and we are pleased to link with and promote this initiative. I’d encourage anyone with lived experience of mental health challenges to come along on 22nd February to find out more about the support they and their loved ones can get to make the most of life.”

There is no need to book but if people have any queries about the event or the college, call 0118 937 3945 or email



Photo opportunity: A photo call at the event with Compass staff, the Deputy Mayor of Reading, Rose Williams, Cllr Hoskin and organisations attending the event, will take place at the start of the event at 11am. The photo will be available on request.

Recovery Colleges

Recovery Colleges are run like any other college, providing education as a route to recovery. Courses are co-devised and co-delivered by people with lived experience of mental illness and by mental health professionals. The benefit of increased focus on a Recovery College and other community provision include increased user independence and integration into the wider community.


To contact Compass for more information call 0118 937 3945 or email

Reshaping Mental Health Services in Reading

The Council consulted with the public in July and August 2016 on the future of mental health services in Reading. The consultation was particularly focused at people with professional and personal experience of mental health problems, including family carers.

The consultation feedback indicated people were in favour of developing a local Recovery College delivering peer-led education and training programmes to support people back to mental health. However, people said that social contact and welfare support also need to be available to complement recovery courses.


For information on Brighter Berkshire visit

Victoria Nickless

For media enquiries about this release email or call 0118 937 3957