We’re pleased to announce that on Monday 6 March, The University of Chester will become the second university in the UK to sign the Recovery Friendly University Pledge.  

We’ll be officially signing the pledge at our “Celebrating Chester as a Recovery Friendly University” Diversity Festival event in Binks. Book your ticket to join us to sign the pledge here.  

What is recovery? 

Recovery is a process of improved physical, psychological, and social wellbeing and health, after previously suffering from problematic, harmful or addictive use of alcohol, other drugs, or potentially damaging behaviours, eg, gambling.

The journey for each person in recovery is different. For some people, but not all, recovery requires abstinence. Being a person in recovery can become an important part of someone’s identity, and something that is worth celebrating. For others, it refers to a process that was completed in the past and does not play a part in their lives today. Either way, it’s important to know that not only is recovery possible, it’s also very common. There are many people in recovery in our communities.  

What is the Recovery Friendly University Pledge? 

The Recovery Friendly University Pledge was created by Recovery Connections, a peer-led, substance use recovery organisation based in Middlesbrough. The pledge asks universities to tackle the stigma and barriers people in recovery face, especially when trying to access higher education. 

Why are we signing the Pledge? 

At the University of Chester, we are committed to creating an inclusive and welcoming community. We have played a key role in national discussions to develop the Pledge and much of our wider work is already in line with its commitments.  

By signing the pledge, we’re showcasing our intent to continue prioritising widening participation and inclusivity, whilst also celebrating the achievements we have already made in this area. We welcome both staff and students that are in recovery and celebrate their achievements and ability to overcome adversity.  

So far, we have offered Recovery Ally Training to staff and students, hosted a high-profile recovery friendly photography exhibition, set up a peer-support group for staff in recovery, celebrated International Recovery Day by lighting up our Chapel in purple and made space for staff and students to share their lived experience expertise. 

What does the Pledge mean? 

The Pledge means that as a University we’re committing to creating an inclusive and welcoming community for all.  

This means that we’ll continue to welcome both staff and students who are in recovery to join the University and provide specialist support and help where needed. We’ll also continue to provide opportunities for those in recovery to meet and share their experiences and continue to raise awareness of key national events related to recovery.  


If you’d like support in dealing with any of the topics discussed, please visit our Wellbeing & Mental Health portal site. You can also contact: 

Wellbeing & Mental Health – wellbeing@chester.ac.uk 

Student Counselling – student.counselling@chester.ac.uk   

Student Assistance Programme – 0800 030 5182 (24/7 telephone counselling service) 

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