Earlier this year service users and local communities were asked to submit name suggestions for the formerly named Recovery College. Ben Wilson-Mayor was delighted to be crowned the winner with his initiative suggestion, Community Roots.

With over 80 creative entries and a final shortlist of five finalists, the vote was a closely fought contest but Community Roots was victorious with over 30% of the final vote.

Ben Wilson-Mayor explains where his inspiration for Community Roots came from:

“When I started thinking about a new name, I read the key words associated with the service. There are some really fantastic words which stood out to me, especially ‘partnership, togetherness and safe space’ so I felt it was really important to think of a name which encapsulated all of these. I also wanted a name which highlighted the unique aspect of the service, which is that all the courses and workshops are co-produced and co-delivered by people with lived experience.

One word that kept coming back to the forefront of my mind was, community.”

The team work across Lancashire and South Cumbria connecting experts by profession with experts by experience to bring a wide range of health, wellbeing and social support through learning opportunities. The focus is a little different to traditional models of health care, focussing on preventing ill health, life beyond services and connecting people to a wide variety of opportunities and support in their local community. 

Shaun Everitt, Project Coordinator, commented: 

“Our work starts and finishes within our communities with an aim to reduce stigma and improve awareness of living well, despite health issues. If you attend our courses you can expect to build deeper connections in your community whilst learning new skills that promote feelings of control and hope. All our opportunities are co-produced and co-delivered by lived experience experts, so you can be assured we understand because we’ve been there too. We are passionate that our courses provide an authentic and relatable space to explore personal wellbeing alongside people who truly understand.”

Courses on offer at Community Roots throughout winter and beyond include, living with ADHD, confidence and assertiveness, understanding depression, understanding anxiety and introduction to deaf awareness. There are over 30 courses available to anyone aged 16 and over, delivered in person from either of their two sites in Preston and Burnley with a selection of the courses able to be accessed online. 

Ben continues:

“The second part of the name ‘Roots’ came from two different thoughts. One was the iconic tree branding, which was being kept throughout the name change, this brought the tree and the name together. Additionally, I felt that it was important to emphasise that the service changes the roots of traditional healthcare – working on prevention, living with a diagnosis, and having a life beyond services through community connections.

By putting all this together – Community Roots became my final name choice.”

The new name announcement also lead to the launch of a new website and online booking system which makes booking places on any of the free courses easier and more accessible.

When asked how it felt to be the chosen winner Ben explained:

“It feels fantastic that Community Roots has been chosen as the new name, it was a wonderful opportunity to be able to have such an important input. My social media feeds were filled with the announcement and it was really nice to see people praising the new name. I’m thankful to LSCft for giving the local community the chance to be involved as they truly do put local communities at the heart of everything they do.”

To view the full range of courses or book your place and learn more about Community Roots