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Student Futures

Organisation case studies

Recovery Connections

I am Kayleigh Dunnigan, the BRIC Lead at Recovery Connections in Middlesbrough. I am a graduate of Teesside University - both undergraduate and postgraduate.

I studied BSc Criminology and Psychology and MSc Criminology with Contemporary Drug Issues. I volunteered while at University and am delighted to be employed in this area now as I am passionate about recovery.

It is my role to lead on the community element of the Recovery Connections service; leading a team of staff, volunteers and Recovery Ambassadors we attempt to break down the stigma closely associated with addiction and show that recovery is possible and positive. I work in the community most of the time doing awareness events and activities.

In addition to this I facilitate, teach and assess on the Recovery Ambassador Programme, which is a fully accredited Level 2 Qualification for those with the lived experience of substance use and recovery which enables them to gain a recognised qualification as well as gain some knowledge and skills that will help them to support those looking for their pathway to recovery. I also support volunteers.

Volun-tees helps our organisation by allowing us to have passionate and enthusiastic volunteers who want more information and skills in this field of work. We have had a variety of students from Volun-tees who have been open minded and extremely motivated.

All of our volunteers are worth their weight in gold. They are passionate and enthusiastic to help in different situations, whether it be in the residential rehab, community groups and activities or at events. University volunteers are particularly important as they are interested in the theory and knowledge behind the skills that we use every day and are able to teach and show this within their studies and work.

At Recovery Connections we are keen to ensure that volunteers are well supported and have an interesting volunteering experience in an area that they are keen to learn more about. We have a variety of roles for University volunteers to get involved in.

To other organisations who may be looking for volunteers I would say - University volunteers are brilliant, a great way to work with them is to create an action plan or a work book when first meeting them. This ensures they receive the best outcomes and work towards different ranges of skills in your field of work so they are better equipped to offer you the most appropriate help.