RISE had its roots in the recovery movement and was set up to combat substance misuse and mental ill-health. It built a sustainable recovery community in Kingston Upon Thames (Kingston RISE) and this remains its bedrock. People recover best in the company of those who have travelled the same path. Those who overcome their own trauma and stigma become passionate to aid others in the same journey. Deficits become assets. Everyone wins.
Kingston is known as an affluent, leafy London suburb. But it contains groups which are disenfranchised both culturally and economically, subject to extreme deprivation and which live cheek by jowl with gated communities. Inequality lies just below the surface everywhere. Social isolation affects every demographic but is particularly damaging to the poor and the unwell.
We began to work with community groups, employing our methods to help them to empower themselves, and to become more resilient. In doing this we forged deep and long lasting relationships with communities, professionals and deliverers of services, in open, honest dialogue, “learning the good and the bad together”.
On this journey we discovered
- That recovery to wellbeing is important for everyone; today “everyone’s in recovery from something”
- The healing power of community linked to passion
- Tools which ensure the right outcomes and enable us to punch above our weight with small financial resources
- How these tools can have a much wider applicability
- Strength in partnership. We are now part of the fabric of Kingston. We are the “glue”.