Recovery Research Network (RRN)

RRN Collective

Coordination of the RRN

The RRN Collective is a group of people who regularly attend the meetings and lead the RRN. We recognise the central significance of values to a recovery orientation, and aim to run the RRN in a way that is consistent with recovery values. Members of the Collective share the organisation of the two RRN activities:

1. Organise the RRN meeting every six months

This involves finding a venue and organising refreshments, agreeing a theme, identifying speakers and programme, advertising and handling registrations for the day

2. Send out the e-bulletins

The e-bulletin is collated by the e-bulletin co-leads and sent once a month to all members.

The RRN Collective are:


Chris Griffiths

… is a Senior Research Fellow at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. Research interests include resilience, application of technology to recovery and healthcare, and adolescent, adult and older adult mental health recovery.


Steve Gillard

…is a Reader in Social and Community Mental Health in the Population Health Research Institute at St George’s, University of London. His current research focuses on the increasing role played by people with lived experience of mental health problems in producing the support that they make use of – the development of more distributed forms of mental health care – including the introduction of new Peer Worker roles into mental health services. His research is underpinned by standpoint epistemology and co-production approaches to research; working alongside researchers with lived experience to critique and strengthen, methodologically, the way in which we produce knowledge about mental health.


Alice Hicks

…is a researcher and mental health trainer with many years experience of living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She has a particular interest in how people recover from having a long term “mental illness”. She is keen to promote more understanding of  “madness” and getting the voice of people living with mental health issues heard. She has recently conducted a research project for Health Watch Oxfordshire into the value and importance of independent user-run groups. She is now actively working to set up such a group in Oxford and is also exploring the idea of starting a mental health puppet project.


Laura Hill

…is an old age psychiatrist in Exeter, Devon, and Associate Clinical Director for the Devon Memory Service.  She is co-leading the Peer Support Worker programme across Devon Partnership Trust.  She has a strong interest in what recovery means for older adults and specifically its applicability to dementia care.  She has co-authored several papers on dementia and recovery, and co-produced a course on ‘Living well with Dementia’ with a man with dementia and a carer.


Emma Kaminskiy

…is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University. Her primary research interests centre on how people utilise choice in psychiatric encounters and considerations of power and stigma in this context. She has researched shared decision making for psychiatric medication management practices and is currently involved in work researching psychological formulation practices and their impact on recovery and wellbeing outcomes in an inpatient setting.  She has a particular interest in participatory and co-production approaches to research.


Fortune Mhlanga

…is currently a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at the University of Bedfordshire. She is a Mental Health Nurse by training and has previously worked in community and inpatient settings. She continues to practice as a mental health nurse in her spare time. Fortune has a keen interest in how recovery-oriented practice is being implemented in practice. She is currently undertaking a doctorate project which explores how an NHS organisation that provides care and support for people with mental health problems is implementing recovery-oriented practice. 


Vanessa Pinfold

… is the research director and cofounder of the McPin Foundation (, a mental health research charity that champions experts by experience in research both through developing patient and public involvement in research programmes and employing peer researchers to lead and co-deliver research studies. In recent years Vanessa’s own research work has focused on wellbeing networks, evidenced informed service delivery and reform to support people with psychosis, mental health stigma and discrimination and co-production research methodologies.


Shulamit Ramon (E-bulletin co-lead)

… is the Mental Health Research Lead in the School of Health and Social Work at the University of Hertfordshire, and also works at Anglia Ruskin University. A social worker and clinical psychologist by training, she is currently researching shared decision-making in psychiatric medication, domestic violence and mental health, empowering young LGBT people in responding to homophobic violence. She is also preparing European Masters e-learning course on Recovery and Social Inclusion. Shula has been working with service users as researchers and trainers since 1991, and her research projects contain an innovative action component.


Mat Rawsthorne (Marketing Manager)

… is a Service User Consultant on a CLAHRC-EM Study of Online Peer Support for Depression. He also runs the Academy for Recovery Coaching C.I.C delivering training to professionals and the public.


Mike Slade

... is Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion at the University of Nottingham and Chair of the European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation (ENMESH). His research interests include Recovery Colleges, lived experience narratives, citizenship, wellbeing, needs assessment and developing measures, e.g. INSPIRE, Camberwell Assessment of Need, Threshold Assessment Grid. He has written over 250 academic articles and published 11 books, including Personal Recovery and Mental Illness (2009), Partnering for Recovery in Mental Health (2014), Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health (2017) and Positive Psychotherapy for Psychosis (2017). His free booklets include Making Recovery a Reality (2008), REFOCUS: Promoting recovery in community mental health services (2011), 100 Ways to Support Recovery (2013), The empirical evidence about recovery (2015) and The business case for recovery (2017), all downloadable at


Tony Sparkes (E-bulletin co-lead)

… having previously worked in a range of mental health practitioner/manager roles for the local authority/NHS, he is a lecturer in Social Work at the University of Bradford. His interests include service user and practitioner accounts of recovery within contemporary mental health care. Back in 2009, and as then a ‘new’ PhD research student, Tony has enjoyed being part of the RRN from its early days, and is appreciative of the continued support that this network offers for those interested in ‘recovery’.


Discussions of the Collective are reported at meetings of the RRN.