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St Mungo’s opens Recovery College in Rushworth Street

London SE1 website team

The St Mungo's charity has set up a 'recovery college' for people who have experienced homelessness.

The recovery college concept has been developed in the mental health sector to help people gain skills and confidence.

St Mungo's Recovery College in Rushworth Street is the first time that the same principles have been used to support people with experiences of being homeless.

After a pilot last autumn, the college has now expanded its range of courses to around 50 and to date nearly 400 students have enrolled.

The courses are open to St Mungo's clients, volunteers and staff and are taught by a mix of clients and staff.

Course subjects include assertiveness, boosting confidence, peer mentoring, learning to play the guitar, painting in watercolour, bicycle maintenance, literacy, maths and life skills such as budgeting.

Some courses are now offered in collaboration with the Guildhall School of Music, while students keen to learn more are referred on to other organisations such as City Lit.

"Demand for courses during the pilot really exceeded our expectations and this second term has proved even more popular," said Andy Williams, St Mungo's client involvement manager.

"What sets the Recovery College apart is that students are supported on an emotional level and are enjoying learning.

"Many people who have experienced homelessness have been out of work for more than five years and may not have had a positive time at school.

"The Recovery College is about a second chance to build confidence and self esteem, take some first steps back into learning, at all levels, all within a supportive, fun environment."

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