Home > Peer led action research. A community assets scoping exercise in Dublin’s North Inner City.

Brady, Julie and Corcoran, Keith and Ducque, Karl and Gelston, Martin and Murtagh, Joey and O’Neill, Brian and Slator, Katie (2016) Peer led action research. A community assets scoping exercise in Dublin’s North Inner City. Dublin: Recovery Academy Ireland.

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The Community Participation Action Research (CPAR) committee, which is the research committee of the Recovery Academy Ireland, wants to see people in recovery become a lot more visible in their community. The CPAR came about as there was a need for people in recovery to be seen as positive in themselves and in what they could do for people and communities alike. People in recovery knew that there was more they could do to show people in similar communities that there was more to them such as: they can be great parents, employees, employers, friends, partners, etc and they can be responsible, trustworthy, honest and overall be a very positive asset to their community.

The core group of the CPAR learned through the 16 weeks how to research (that is, search and understand the literature, develop a vocabulary and understand terms, design and develop a questionnaire, data, analyse data, interpret and write up findings). Participants were shown how to compile it and how to go into the public and survey. We split the group up and surveyed different people in the community. People in active addiction, people in recovery from addiction, members of the public and service users were all targeted. The interviewers learned how to be ethical in their approach and how not to be biased in their surveys. The CPAR group learned all about assets that were available in the community such as “social capital”, “physical/cultural” assets and “human capital”.

The group found that there is a huge gap for single parents, especially women, to come into recovery as there are other factors in play such as childcare (cost) and less places in recovery to cater for women, such as recovery houses (gender specific needs). The group also came to the conclusion that stigma around people in recovery needs to be challenged and not only challenging the perception of recovery but to challenge ourselves to change that.

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