Recovery is behavioural, open access and delivered in conjunction with the community:
There are two basic aspects interacting with each other in this new approach. The first is the ACT Peer Recovery meeting where people learn to use the ACT Matrix to focus on behaviour. These are locality based, open access and delivered in the community by licensed volunteer peers. The volunteers belong to an independent, local peer led organisation that provides all the back up support.
The second is the community itself. Via the local peer recovery organisation, community mutual aid links are formed with other locality based associations, clubs, charities and businesses etc. on a win/win basis. For example, a canal trust may require volunteer help to maintain the waterway. So there are opportunities to learn new skills whilst helping out. Peers who like this will continue to attend, build social relationships and possibly become a volunteer- it’s a win/win.
Recovery takes place in the community and is about building a life of meaning and purpose.
Core recovery skills are learned in the meetings and then applied in the community. Each peer chooses their own path into recovery and then returns to the meeting, working in a circular pattern and using shared experience from other peers to progress. It is very much a trial and error approach to learning in which failure is the norm, and new learning emerges from experience.
It's an experimental learning method in which skills and knowledge are passed down from one peer to another in a systematic way.
Licensed volunteers who deliver meetings are attached to approved partner organisations. These are locality based peer organisations who meet the standards necessary to maintain quality of the ACT Peer Recovery meetings. Each approved partner acts as a hotspot for their local area and five regions have now been established.
Each hotspot develops more groups with more volunteers, and become more experienced in delivering mutual aid. Then as surrounding areas want to create their own local peer organisation the hotspot can devolve the necessary skills and experience. The new peer group develops and then devolves also into further local groups, creating an organic model of growth. Starting a new peer group is incredibly easy, so it grows quickly whilst maintaining quality.