Project aim: To explore the new phenomenon of the substance misuse recovery movement in the North West through the eyes of its elite and select national figures.
About the project: The study is under the auspices of the North West Recovery Forum Leadership representing all of the recovery and mutual aid organizations in the North West of England – recognized nationally and internationally as a hub of recovery and mutual aid. The study is part of a 3 year PhD at Liverpool John Moores University Centre for Public Health. The study is currently being self-funded by the author
Why Am I Crowd funding? The £5,000 is to complete the professional transcription of the remaining 30 interviews and for the wider dissemination of the findings at a series of events, the production of monographs and a book on the stories of the elite leaders of recovery and mutual aid in the UK. Over 2 days of recordings have been taken during in-depth interviews. This now needs professionally transcribing and analyzing using an established elite interview methodology (Kvale). The funding will raise awareness at a strategic leadership / policy / practice / commissioning / fundraising level about key issues and to seek ways forwards for recovery and mutual aid.
Testimonials The study is supported by leading national academic and policy figures in the field. The North West Leadership Forum are supporting the study. The group comprises of the strategic leaders of the substance misuse recovery and mutual aid movement in the North West. The study is supported by the Centre for Public Health and aligns with the developmental work around the ‘ABCD’ Asset Based Community Development Model.
About Me After a public sector career across Public Health, Forensic Mental Health, and Criminal Justice, including significant work as a commissioner for the Home Office, Probation Service, NHS and Public Health I am undertaking a PhD study of elite interviews about the emergence of the substance misuse recovery movement in the North West UK. I have previously undertaken qualitative research in the substance misuse and social care field and have a special interest in drugs, alcohol and mental health, as well as community asset development. I previously worked at a national level designing treatment systems. I was formerly a member of the London Drug and Alcohol Policy Forum. I was recently invited to join the board of a new Community Interest Company in Manchester. I was also invited onto the evaluation advisory group at the Centre for Public Health of a Comic Relief and Russell Brand funded project assessing the impact of the funding on local social capital in 4 sites.
The Objectives of the study:
- Objective 1: To capture individual life stories and articulate the recent story of the recovery movement in the North West of England.
- Objective 2: To examine addiction recovery as a public health discourse notably the ‘fifth wave of public health’ (Hanlon, 2012)
- Objective 3: To compare local notions of addiction recovery in the North West over the last 10 years with the chronological development of earlier discourses both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
The study will seek to answer some key questions:
- Is recovery and mutual aid a social movement?
- More fundamentally, what do the elite leaders see as the mission of recovery and mutual aid?
- If recovery and mutual aid has the potential to become a social movement in hard pressed inner cities, how will the array of new organizations grow, from small, highly localized roots?
- For recovery to drive wider public health and wellbeing social contagion how will it best become more visible in local communities, given many of its members belong to an anonymous organization?
- As recovery and mutual aid become more visible how do its members might best fit into local communities?
- The study will build on the existing evidence base around recovery and mutual aid.
- To date there has not been an elite study of the leaders of the recovery and mutual aid movement in the UK.
- The study builds on earlier service user level work in Glasgow and Birmingham, and locality level studies of recovery contagion potential in Yorkshire, Lancashire, The Wirral and Merseyside (Best 2012, Best 2014, Best 2015).
Some of the new knowledge the study may reveal includes:
- Where does recovery and mutual aid sit in the system?
- What challenges do the new leaders and their organizations face?
- How do we best develop the new workforce alongside the old?
- Can the old organizations help?
- How should recovery and mutual aid be measured?
- How might tackling homelessness, worklessness, social disconnection and family breakdown in this group act as a beacon for other groups?
- Not everyone in recovery will become a drug and alcohol worker – what else might they become?
- Is recovery and mutual aid a wider social movement?
- What is the mission of the movement?
- Is recovery and mutual aid contagious?
- Is it part of Asset Based Community Development? (ABCD)
- How will a largely anonymous movement become visible?
- How will the variety of recovery and mutual aid leaders and their equally varied organizations work to a common goal?
- What can recovery and mutual aid offer public health?
- Is the movement a broker between government and people about health and wellbeing?
- Who should pay for recovery and mutual aid?
Products and Outputs:
- To support addiction researchers and practitioners engaged in treatment or harm reduction.
- To preserve the innovation in the addictions field.
- To communicate the evidence base to inform policy and practice.