Greece is one of the few countries that effectively managed to shut down the spread of COVID-19 before it really had a chance to take hold, and they are seen as one of the success stories of the pandemic. However, out of their lockdown measures, an unforeseen issue is arising, surrounding the use of digital tools in education settings.

One of our Eurospectives partners, Stephanos Cherouvis of Elliogermaniki Agogi has written a fascinating blog over on the Eurospectives site to shed some light on the ongoing saga.


COVID-19 has shown us how fragile our wellness is. The pandemic has already had an impact on mental health and will continue to do so. Using the lived experiences of people who are often marginalised by society, this briefing examines how wellbeing can be better supported for everyone. We believe that the answer lies in seeing wellbeing as a set of core values that should underpin how we work with people, to fundamentally address issues surrounding wellness in our society.

The evidence that has informed this briefing has come from Community Reporter stories from across Greater Manchester. Specifically, the stories are from young people in the care system, sex workers and people experiencing health, housing and economic inequalities. This has been supported locally by:

  • The Men’s Room: An arts & health charity that supports men and trans people across Greater Manchester.
  • Gorsehill Studios: A youth-focused charity based in Trafford that works in creative education.
  • Winning Hearts and Minds: A joined-up approach to improving people’s long-term heart and mental health in Manchester.

We have also run a knowledge exchange event based on the findings in this briefing. You can download the slides from this event here.


Over the last year, People’s Voice Media has been working with PERU from Manchester Metropolitan University and We Are With You (formerly Addaction) in Cornwall to evaluate a new recovery service. Our role has been to use Community Reporting and storytelling to support people who are in recovery to share their experiences of this journey, and to work with frontline workers to gather their stories of delivering the service.

So far, we have delivered some initial storytelling sessions and collaborative sense-making activities. This has allowed us to identify a number of key learnings about what works and what doesn’t work in recovery services and we wanted to share these with you. So, let’s start with the good points… In terms of people’s experiences of the service, the things that people value in terms of support on their recovery journey are:

  • Tailoring the support to people’s personal needs – for example, some people find using public transport very difficult so alternatives were found.
  • Not giving up on people – for example, even if people refused support at first, the workers would persist or offer different types of support until there was a breakthrough
  • Building up strong relationships – for example, allowing workers to have specific people they work with so they can get to know them more
  • Not being judgmental – for example, many of the workers have had addictions before and so the people currently on recovery didn’t feel they were being judged

When reflecting on previous support services (before they got involved with We Are With You), people identified the following issues:

  • They seemed like a box-ticking exercise – they weren’t person centred
  • They expected recovery journeys to be linear – if you missed an appointment you would be taken off the service
  • They didn’t seem to have enough time to offer meaningful support – short appointments were given that didn’t allow for trust to be built
  • They focused on the just the addiction not the whole person – the person’s wider life, needs, capacities etc. weren’t part of the recovery

A key message within these stories, is that recovery is absolutely not a box-ticking exercise that can be applied in the same way for everyone. Instead it is a fluid, non-linear journey that will be unique to each person who experiences it. The stories demonstrate there should not be a one-size-fits-all approach to recovery. More so, recovery is also not something that happens alone. Instead, each person has their own recovery community that can include Recovery Workers, care workers, social workers, medical professionals, family and friends. The strength of these connections and relationships of trust that are built, are central to people being able to overcome their addictions.

We will be releasing a feature article with links to the stories and people’s experiences in their own words later in the year… as well as continuing to work on the evaluation. So watch this space!


At the Eurospectives meeting in Athens in March we were lucky enough to have filmmaker Glenda Rome on board.

At the meeting, she screened a film she had facilitated with a group of older people from the LGBT community in Glasgow, called Return To the Closet?. The film was made last year and has had a positive impact, with health and social care providers now using the film as an equality and diversity training tool for their staff.

Since the meeting, Kath interviewed Glenda about the film (via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions) and what strategies were put in place to ensure social impact was achieved. You can watch the interview below.