The following courses are offered according to student need with some courses delivered every semester and others once a year. A minimum of 30 courses a year.

Find out more about each of our courses below.

Track 1 Courses

  • Exploring Recovery
  • Peer Possibilities
  • I Matter
  • Wellbeing Workshops
  • From Trauma to Recover - Level 1
  • Write 2 Recovery
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Wellbeing Walk
  • Woodland Wakeup

Track 2 Courses

  • Living Life to the Full
  • Dare to be Happier
  • Confident & Assertive
  • Creative Recovery
  • Well @ Work
  • And Breathe
  • Thinking About Work?
  • From Trauma to Recovery - Level 2

Track 3 Courses

  • YMA 'All That You Are'
  • Listening & Empathy
  • WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)
  • Peer 2 Peer
  • Co-Production
  • Suicide Awareness & Prevention
  • Personal Leadership Programme
  • Beyond Recovery College
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Practice Development Forum

Creative Courses

  • Wisdom of Story
  • Bullet Journalling
  • Filmmaking for Beginners
  • Poetry in Mind
  • Zen Mindful Photography
  • Drumming for Wellbeing
  • Story Trees
  • Song Writing
  • Drummers Mentor Programme
  • Wisdom of Story

Ayrshire College Courses

  • Health and Wellbeing level 3
  • Mental Health & Wellbeing - Level 4
  • Basic ICT PC & Keyboard Skills & Word
  • Volunteer Award
  • The Employability Award

Track 1 Courses

Exploring Recovery

A foundational course based around the CHIME recovery model exploring how Connectedness, Hope, Sense of Identity, Meaning and Empowerment can support recovery. The course includes:

  • What is recovery?
  • What is self-management?
  • What can I do to get well and stay well?

Full of tips, techniques and strategies and is co-facilitated by one of our Peer Volunteer Trainers who will share their personal story and experience of recovery.

Peer Possibilities

The role of peer experience is fundamental to any recovery college. This introductory course will embed your understanding of your contribution as a peer within the college. We all have an individual journey and an individual story. You will meet and hear from some of our Peer Volunteer Trainers who will offer hope and inspiration for your recovery.

I Matter

POWWOWs are Penumbra’s workshops on wellbeing. With an informal discussion format we will share knowledge and experience.

The 5 sessions: Anxiety Matters, I Matter, Assertiveness Matters, Fitness Matters, Sleep Matters.

From Trauma to Recover - Level 1

We know that Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), toxic stress, trauma, and distress are all incredibly common. This course is about recovery and DOES NOT require the sharing of trauma stories. Instead we explore the knowledge and skills that enable us to take the lead role in our own recovery.

The shift from “what is wrong with you?” to “how to deal with what happened to you” opens the door to possibilities and hope. You will have the chance to visualise the future you desire and the steps in how to realise it.

Wellbeing Walk

A weekly walk in partnership with KA Leisure for physical wellbeing and building connection. It is a gentle walk suitable for all fitness levels.

Wellbeing Workshops

A series of workshops to enhance your wellbeing with interesting topics and guest speakers sharing community resources.Workshops may include: Mindfulness, Meditation & Relaxation, Personal Security, Goal Setting, Green Spaces, StressLess Strategies.

Write 2 Recovery

The course generates inspiring conversations and discussions and provides an opportunity for participants to write and reflect on their own story. Each session has a different theme such as:

  • Surviving & Thriving,
  • What Makes me Happy,
  • Letter from the Wise One,
  • Inner Critic - The Case for the Defence,
  • Vulnerability as Power
  • The Hero’s Journey.

Mental Health Awareness

Delivered in partnership with North Ayrshire Link Workers this practical course aims to:

  • Raise Awareness of mental health improvement
  • Identify what is needed for a healthy mental health environment
  • Provide information and self-help tools that are effective in promoting mental health improvement.

Track 2 Courses

Living Life to the Full

Based on the principles of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), this course covers how to manage low mood, stress and anxiety. Exploring topics such as: ‘Why do I feel so bad?’ ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘Why does everything always go wrong?’ The course is interactive, with mini booklets designed to encourage specific and realistic goal setting. It is effective in guiding and supporting people as they work to change their lives.

Dare to be Happier

Based on the book ‘Dare to be Happier’ by Caroline Johnstone. A structured programme, using journaling, that explores what happiness means to people and deals with a number of key areas that get in the way of happiness, leading up to encouraging steps/changes to help students move on with their lives with a lot of tools and resources. Each module is a combination of teaching theory, practical examples and exercises, individual work, group discussion and ends with a gentle meditation. Workshops include: Optimism & Gratitude, Self-Compassion & Kindness, Boundaries & Assertion, Happiness & Thinking.

Confident & Assertive

Acknowledge what makes you absolutely unique and work towards the best version of yourself by learning skills in:

  • Communication
  • Knowing my human rights
  • Handling criticism well
  • Asking for what I want
  • Be clear about my boundaries
  • Respect myself and respect others
  • Work on Win/Win solutions to problems.

Creative Recovery

Facilitating a creative approach to recovery exploring themes of Identity, Boundaries, Inner Critic V Inner Warrior and Connecting with Self/Others/Nature/ Culture. Each workshop will involve some making or creating using different mediums to consolidate our learning. The course will include a socially engaged art project taking our recovery messages into our community.

Well @ Work

A new course in development to support people who may be struggling with work to develop strategies to manage stress, become more assertive within the workplace and understand your employment rights. Work on a Wellness Recovery Action Plan for Work.

And Breathe

Have you been told to calm down? Are you tired of being wound up, stressed, ready to explode? Here’s how to let that tension out, to calm your mind and relax your body. We’ll be using body-based techniques, some sitting quietly, some gentle movements, which can be done seated or standing; Tia Chi, tapping, breathing, mindfulness, imagery. You will discover how your mind body connection works and why the techniques help. You’ll be learning techniques you can do at home, on the bus, in the office to keep you calm and relaxed, better able to enjoy life. Find what works for you.

Track 3 Courses

You Matter Always 'All That You Are'

YMA adopts a peer support/education approach to empowering people to take a more active role in managing aspects of their own health, wellbeing and recovery. You will work on your own YMA cards, strengths-based tools of self-management, empowerment, encouragement and enlightenment. We are all important, we matter...always. You will recognise that you do matter always.

Listening & Empathy

Reflect on the importance of Listening and Empathy in our relationships by investigating the different models and levels of listening. Learn to recognise the negative and positive impact of poor and active listening. You will improve your active listening and understand how we can create better spaces to listen and think.


Learn about the principles and practice of co-creation in the development of courses, learning theory and group dynamics. It brings together experts in subject alongside people with a lived mental health experience. The course will look at the Potential development of new courses.

WRAP (Wellbeing Recovery Action Plan)

Discover a simple and powerful process for creating the life and wellness you want. With WRAP, you can discover simple, safe, and effective tools to create and maintain wellness. Develop a daily plan to stay on track with your life and wellness goals. Identify what throws you off track and develop a plan to keep moving forward. Gain support and stay in control even in a crisis.

The WRAP process supports you to identify the tools that keep you well and create action plans to put them into practice in your everyday life. All along the way, WRAP helps you incorporate key recovery concepts and wellness tools into your plans and your life.


A course for people with experience of providing peer support, either in a paid post or voluntary role or someone who is stable in recovery and aspires to offer peer support.

It will increase understanding of recovery approaches, personal recovery and peer support to help participants develop skills central to the peer support relationship and enable peer workers and volunteers to practice effectively and safely in the role. There is an application process for this course and a ‘student placement’ to put theory into practice.

Suicide Awareness & Prevention

An introduction to what to do if someone’s expressing suicidal thoughts by following the easy to remember TALK steps – Tell, Ask, Listen and Keep-safe. These practical steps offer immediate help to someone having thoughts of suicide and helps you both move forward to connect with more specialised support.

Personal Leadership Programme

Designed to support established students towards the end of their Recovery College learning to move from a recovery mind set to a personal development and personal leadership. Taking responsibility for identifying next steps in life. Within a framework of Nancy Kline’s ‘Time to Think’ model you will: Create your own Leadership Compass, explore communication styles through the Transactional Analysis model and discover your Key Strengths. In workshops, thinking spaces with peer mentors you will also engage in self-directed learning.

Beyond Recovery College

Gather together all your tools and learning and reflect on your emotions around graduation. Acknowledge and share your highlights and celebrate your achievements Create a vision Board and set goals for the future.

Facilitation Skills

Gain the skills to facilitate learning for others as we co-create with you in an Adult-to-Adult learning and development environment, and this will provide a space where real practical learning can take place. This learning will include challenge and support, fun and creativity, individual and group activities, and a need to be fully present and engaged. The learning spaces that are shared will be held using ‘Rules of Engagement’, created by Nancy Kline and will be peer led.

Topics include: Developing ‘blue mind’, Seeing yourself as a Facilitator: Personal Purpose and understanding yourself and others through the framework of Transactional Analysis, The Facilitation Process: Emotions of Change, Powerful Questions, Flipping & Reframing, Reflective Practice and Appreciative Inquiry. There is an expectation that you will do personal learning between workshops as you access the ‘Blue Box’ website that hosts all the learning resources.

Practice Development Forum

To offer ongoing learning and practice for peer working, facilitation and course development. These sessions are for Peer Trainee’s, Peer Volunteers, Peer Workers and Peer Tutors. This monthly forum will involve sharing learning and reflective practice and contributing to NAWARC developments.

Creative Courses

Wisdom of Story

Wisdom of Story is based on a different story each session, as a focus for discussion of self-help strategies that can lead to positive wellbeing and recovery. An ongoing craft activity is also included in every session. Workshops include: “Being Me” emphasises the importance of valuing yourself, “Try Something New” focuses on strategies that could help you on your wellbeing and recovery journey. “Keep On Keeping On” looks at why we sometimes give up and what may help us to keep going. “The Kindness Within” is about self - care and being kind to yourself.

Bullet Journalling

Track the Past, Organise the Present & Plan for the Future. So what is Bullet Journaling... It can essentially be whatever you want & need it to be. To put it simply, Bullet Journaling is a method to organise your life in a notebook, customised to your own needs, style & life.

Bullet Journaling will help give you an outlet to explore, experiment & express your own creativity. You’ll learn more about yourself & your own patterns. You’ll learn how to use Mood & Habit trackers, a valuable tool for self-management. You’ll learn about the value of taking time for daily personal reflection & how daily Gratitude can change your way of thinking. All whilst helping to reduce anxiety & becoming more organised.

Filmmaking for Beginners

You will learn the process of creating and editing short films using your own mobile phone. Discover the basics of how to use lighting, editing, art direction and more to create eye-catching film. While learning practical skills, participating in group projects and shooting opportunities you will gain experience in using tools such as gimbals, tripods and stabilizers. You will create at least one short film and may be involved in screening and sharing your work on social media platforms.

Poetry in Mind

Writing can help us express our stories in a new way, heal and move forward. You don’t need any previous writing experience to get involved - and don’t let school experience deter you! Each session of the course will see us read poems and using them to inspire our own writing using a variety of writing exercises. Students will be encouraged to share ideas and their writing and while there’s no pressure to do that, it’s hoped that the supportive feedback will encourage everyone to do so. Please bring paper and a pen or pencil each week.

Zen Mindful Photography

Practice mindfulness by using photography in the context of self-exploration, communication, creative expression and personal development. Photography can help people increase self-knowledge and develop their self-esteem. It can also be empowering and improve resilience. The simple process of taking a picture provides an opportunity to be present in the moment, to be attentive to your mind and connect with your thoughts and emotions. Only a phone with camera is needed. Some of the photographs pictured in this curriculum are from a previous course.

Drumming for Wellbeing

Recovery College partners with ‘Drum4urLife’ to offer students an experience of drumming. People who attend the introductory course are welcome to continue to be part of Drum4urLife.

Many students have been surprised at the benefits of drumming to their mental health and wellbeing and for building confidence and connection with others. There is something unique and exhilarating about being part of the drum circle so give it a try. Everyone has a heartbeat so everyone can drum on a djembe drum!

Get in Flow Oil Painting

Nourish our creative side through oil and canvas, silence the chatter and discover that anyone can paint. Get ‘in flow’ by switching to your creative right sided brain. Begin to look around you, noticing shadow and light, texture and detail and transfer what you see to canvas.

Physical Activity

Wellbeing Walk

Led by KA Leisure meets at South Beach Ardrossan at Dasher Garden for a gentle walk and chat

Woodland Wakeup

Connect with nature, practise some mindfulness activities or strategies to boost your wellbeing in the beautiful woods and countryside of North Ayrshire. Try out campfire cooking, practice mindfulness, enjoy some hammock time, learn skills in natural crafting or tool work, explore the woods or have a go on a rope swing.

Ayrhsire College Courses

Mental Health & Wellbeing - Level 4

To address gaps in knowledge and to improve understanding of mental health questions and as a result, work towards removing the stigma attached to mental health, as this frequently stops individuals from seeking help because they feel embarrassed or are fearful of being judged.


Developing an understanding of the terms ‘mental health’ and ‘wellbeing’. Discovering a range of mental health issues. Factors which affect mental health and wellbeing.


  • Understand the terms ‘mental health’ and ‘wellbeing’ for individuals and society.
  • Describe a range of mental health issues and begin to understand the role of the brain in relation to mental health and wellbeing.
  • Have knowledge of factors that may influence mental health and wellbeing in individuals.

Basic ICT PC & Keyboard Skills & Word

For individuals who have zero or limited knowledge/skills in using computers of any kind. To provide participants with the basic skills to use a computer to communicate.
Students will be introduced to word processing, internet and email.