Our history

We’re proud to be the first peer led organisation in the UK offering peer support, training and consultancy in peer support and mental health recovery. We are 100% user-run and led – we’re really proud of that too. Here’s a bit about our history…

An opportunity to be inspired…In 2008 a group of us in East Sussex living with our own mental health challenges, came together to be trained as Peer Support Specialists by Recovery Innovations.

Peer Support Specialists are people with their own lived experiences of mental ill-health and mental health services, who are trained and supported to provide support and to model recovery to other people.This was funded by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who had heard about the brilliant work being done in the States on peer support.

Recovery Innovations, based in Arizona, have pioneered a peer support approach to mental health recovery in the USA. Their values of hope, respect, dignity, empowerment and community – together with the most exciting and inspiring training we have ever had – inspired us…

… to set up our own services… So some of went on to form a group called Sussex Peer Approach (SPA). Two of us completed the training needed to train further groups of Peer Support Specialists. Sussex Peer Approach was supported to develop by grants from the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and East Sussex County Council.

SPA was our ‘mother’ organisation, and following re-organisation, Recovery Partners was established as a not- for-profit company in February 2011. We successfully bid for funding from East Sussex County Council and since 2012 we have been offering a range of open-access services to people with mental health challenges across East Sussex.

And now… We are a small, committed and professional organisation where every employee is a peer, and where we are all trained to offer peer support and model recovery. We are proud…of our people, our service users, our mission…to demonstrate that recovery from mental health challenges is absolutely possible.