What is the aim of the college?

The college provides something very different for local people. We have moved away from the clinical focus offered by many traditional support services; instead we offer an educational approach designed to empower you to take control of your own health and wellbeing, while learning new skills, making friends and connecting with others.

Our recovery-focused courses can support you to recognise your potential and make the most of your talents and resources, through self-management. In turn, this can help you to deal with any health challenges you may experience and achieve the things you want in life.

Our college is based on the national ‘Recovery College’ model. You can read more here about this model and better understand our core values.

Who is the college for?

The college is open to anyone aged over 18 years who lives in

  • Heywood, Middleton or Rochdale
  • Bury
  • Oldham
  • Stockport
  • Tameside or Glossop

You are welcome regardless of whether you have an existing health condition or challenge, or you simply want to improve your health and wellbeing.

** We also welcome those who care for someone – including friends, family and loved ones, as well as any staff working for Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.


Everything we do at the college is fully co-produced by experts by profession (people who have professional knowledge in a particular subject area) and experts by experience (people who have personal experience of a particular health challenge). This approach empowers people to use their experiences to help others on their recovery journey. We have found that this way of working really brings a different dynamic to the college.

Where is the college?


The main college campus (the Ashton Campus) is at 225 Old Street, Ashton Under Lyne, OL6 7SR, next door to Pennine Care’s Trust Headquarters. Although there is no onsite parking there is a pay and display car park behind the main college building. The main bus station and tram stops for Ashton are a short walk away

Access to the college is through the rounded glass end of the building nearest the Magistrate’s Court. The campus offers a range of enhanced facilities for our students, including state of the art classrooms and a communal area offering a library resource and free Wi-Fi. Toilets are available on all floors and refreshments are available to purchase from our volunteer led café.


**New sites will hopefully open up across the boroughs throughout the year – keep an eye on the website for any updates

When is the college open?

The main college site (Ashton-Under-Lyne) is open from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Students are welcome to use the range of facilities available during these times, even if they haven’t got courses.

How often would I need to attend?

The amount of time that you need to attend the college will depend on which courses you sign up for. To make sure you get the absolute most out of your time at the college, we advise that you attend 100 per cent of the courses you have chosen where possible.

You must attend a minimum of 75 per cent of your courses to receive your certificate. We understand that there may be times when you can’t attend for a number of reasons. We simply ask that you let us know if you are not able to attend. It is however absolutely essential that you attend the first session of any course. If attendance becomes a real struggle, there is always the option for you to defer – just come and talk to a member of the college team.

How long can I be a student for?

Students can enrol at any time and we encourage attendance for up to 12 months. Some students may find that they want to move on earlier than this and that is fine; similarly some may find that 12 months isn’t enough. If this is the case we would encourage you to talk to a member of college staff and we will be able to look at whether an extension to your student time is appropriate.

We set a standard 12 month time scale as we want to ensure that students are moving on in their recovery journeys and taking their next steps; whatever this might be; however we appreciate that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and accept that some people require more flexibility than this.

The college runs over a full academic year, which is broken down into three semesters

  • Autumn semester (September to December)
  • Winter semester (January to April)
  • Spring semester (May to Aug)