21 September 2022

Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Foundation Trust and Rethink Mental Illness launched the Milton Keynes Recovery College Community Inclusion Service (RCCIS) in collaboration with Milton Keynes City Council on 8 September.

At a ribbon-cutting event at the Queensway Clinic site, Mayor of Milton Keynes Amanda Marlow said: “The ability to connect and to empathise with people who have experienced similar things cannot be underestimated.

“By working in harmony and collaboration with trained professionals, the recovery trainers are reaching so many individuals who are struggling with their own self-worth.”

“I believe that the work you have started, and will be carrying on by delivering here in Milton Keynes, will go a long way to help those that need it most by providing the listening ear, the comforting arm and the necessary practical solutions and support as we move towards even more uncertain times in our country.”

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The Mayor’s words were echoed by Councillor Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing and Healthy Communities, who said: “After the past couple of years, access to mental health services has never been more important.

“This new college will help frontline workers to manage the increasing demand from residents. We know that mental health is as important as physical health and in MK, we are determined to build the support that our communities need.

“I am proud of this dedicated team and this great example of the council and the NHS working together to deliver change.”

Milton Keynes RCCIS will be a part of the hub and spoke model of CNWL’s Recovery & Wellbeing College and the hope is that this will add additional choice and support to the Milton Keynes community. Students will be able to attend face-to-face courses held at the RCCIS and will continue to be able to utilise and attend courses run virtually or face-to-face at the CNWL RWC.

Milton Keynes RCCIS will provide a range of co-produced educational courses, workshops and resources to people who use CNWL services, their supporters including friends, family or carers and CNWL staff.

Developing the RCCIS spoke fulfils a long-held ambition among Milton Keynes-based staff who wanted a physical base in the area to make it easier for people to attend courses rather than having to travel to London bases where CNWL host these sessions. 

The new college will be based in CNWL’s existing Queensway Clinic in Bletchley, which is also the current site of the Milton Keynes Crisis Café, and the Milton Keynes Hub. The building will continue to be used by the Crisis Café, peer support workers and employment specialties along with Rethink Mental Illness staff who will be running a community inclusion service alongside the RCCIS.