Recovery Based Activity Teams

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“Don’t give up being positive!” – Recovery Based Activity Teams in Greater Manchester.


At Star Wards, we LOVE activities on wards – mainly because we know that patients and staff get so much good stuff from attending and hosting them. Good stuff like feeling part of a community, getting some relief from boredom, making connections with others and just good old fashioned fun. We are always on the lookout for people who share our passion and go about tweaking what they offer to patients – so, when we heard that there were interesting things going on in Manchester, we asked Sarah Holtom, who is an Inpatient Senior Practitioner, to fill us in on their wonderful Recovery-Based Activity team.


“At the Moorside Unit in Trafford[1], we are lucky to work within Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, which is an organisation that is recovery-focused and supports recovery-based activity. We have a recovery-based activity team on our unit, responsible for facilitating and delivering an activity programme for our service users.

Volunteers play a significant role in the delivery of activity on our unit and are valued members of our team. The volunteers facilitate activities in the activity room, supported by our Volunteer Co-ordinator.

People who currently use our services, or have used them in the past, also have the opportunity to join our volunteer team. The remainder of the recovery-based activity team consists of support time and recovery staff, occupational therapists and ward staff, who also run activities on our wards.

The unit and ward-based activities that we provide are evaluated in monthly recovery-focused activity meetings, using feedback from our patients about activities in ward meetings, and other feedback methods. We are also currently in the process of setting up structured recovery groups, run by our practitioner for personality disorder, drug and alcohol services, other external support agencies, peer support mentors, and staff trained in psycho-social interventions.

Service users in our monthly Patient Council meetings also requested monthly mutual help events with guest speakers. These sessions involve someone from the Trust or external agencies coming to the unit to present information about a topic relevant to the patients.”

The photos from Mooreside show some of this great team, the activities they put on and a wonderful message from a satisfied patient.

Thank you Sarah and good luck to your wonderful and inspiring Recovery Based Activity Team!

(if you would like more information or advice from the lovely Sarah

and her team, her e-mail is: [email protected] or follow her on twitter at @SarahHoltom1)


Some members of recovery-based activity team (from left) : Phillipa (Volunteer), Vicky (OT), Rhona (Volunteer Co-ordinator) and John (Support Time Recovery Worker).

“Don’t give up being positive! Always ask for help and keep asking so you can give thanks. Activities bring you out of your mind, so try as many as possible.”

A message left by a patient on the discharge message firework on one of our wards- part of the Safewards initiative

         The activity board on our PICU: (Stand-up Comedy! WOW!)


Information on groups run on two of our wards for people of older age.


[1] The Moorside Unit in Trafford Inpatient Services is part of Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust.

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