A decade of recovery and peer leadership

24th April 2020

Huge congratulations to our Network Officer Lesley Smith who is celebrating ten years working with the Scottish Recovery Network!

Our colleague Lesley Smith, Network Officer recently got some surprising news – she had been with Scottish Recovery Network for 10 years! Lesley was astonished that she had been working to make recovery a reality for all for so long. It must be that working with so many great people, organisations and services across Scotland and further afield to bring about positive change that makes time fly.

Those of you who know Lesley will appreciate her commitment to recovery, particularly to the development of opportunities for peers to get involved in designing and delivering services and, importantly, to develop peer leadership in mental health. On behalf of her colleagues and the many others who have worked with Lesley, I would like to thank her for her passion, commitment, persistence, patience and good humour. On a personal note, I would like to pay tribute to Lesley’s thirst for knowledge and the role she plays in keeping me, and others, up to date with developments in peer support around the world.

Thank you for your contribution to the recovery movement in Scotland over the last 10 years and we look forward to working with you for many more.

– Louise Christie, Acting Director, Scottish Recovery Network.

Here Lesley reflects on her time with the organisation:

I have seen, and contributed to, so much change in our understanding of mental health and recovery over the past 10 years with the Scottish Recovery Network and look forward to many more. I have learned so much from working alongside individuals and communities to explore what works for them. It is humbling, at times, to be recognised for my experience and expertise yet I know it’s only one part of the equation. Mutuality is a key experience for me – as much as I give I also gain, if not more! My personal recovery develops as a consequence of the work I do and I value the connections, support and challenges we share with each other in our work.

Often we ask people to share parts of themselves in the work we do, so I will share three words that sum up my first 10 years with the Scottish Recovery Network; empowering, challenging and exciting. I look forward to many more as we work together to build a Scotland where recovery is a reality for each and every one of us. This is no mean feat but dreams are meant to inspire and drive so let’s embrace peoples potential and further build on communities that are empowered, resilient and connected.

I look forward to working with more people, organisations and services across Scotland.