The RECOVEU project brings together partners from the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Romania, Italy and Ireland with the aim of developing access to learning resources for people in recovery from addiction. Although the role of learning in the recovery process has been highlighted there is limited evidence across Europe to inform adult learning practice with people in addiction recovery and there is no data which specifically identifies the barriers they experience or how to support them as adult learners.
The Focus Group Phase:
Consulting with both adults in recovery and service providers supported awareness of the issues prevalent in recovering addicts’ lives and lead to the development of adult education which is responsive to the specific barriers this may raise. Conducting focus groups ensured that the adult education curriculum developed during the project met the needs of people in recovery, thereby increasing the potential for successful engagement and retention. This particular group of adult learners had not been consulted before on the barriers to accessing education; this was an opportunity for their concerns to be heard and addressed by educationalists. The objectives were:
- To develop the Focus Group Plan to provide guidelines for organising and delivering the research by each partner involving service users and service providers/trainers (i.e. practitioners working in the field of drug recovery/education who are directly involved with delivering learning related activities to the target group).
- Each partner to hold a series of focus groups for services users and service providers/trainers to identify barriers and enablers to participation in learning.
- Collect and summarise the focus group data to produce a Focus Group Overview.
Analysis was centred on (1) the role of adult education, (2) participation in learning, (3) what makes learning successful, (4) what an access to learning course should involve and (5) opportunities for training and education.
Findings from the focus groups are demonstrated in the full report below: