Project Ahryzen (2017-2019) – Creating new beginnings
“Ahryzen” describes a path of self-discovery, a journey of awakening from the struggle of addiction to creating new beginnings through the application of Transformative Recovery.
In 2017 BAC-IN was awarded a two year grant by Lankelly Chase to deliver ground-breaking Project Ahryzen in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University. Project Ahryzen action research aims to explore through the authentic voice of lived experience the lives of BAC-IN peers, hidden experiences of disadvantage and the development of a successful model for supporting BAME communities facing multiple disadvantage.
The aim is to test how well BAC-IN's peer led recovery model works in meeting service user needs and to amplify the voices of BAME people with addiction and multiple disadvantage.
Lankelly Chase is a charitable foundation seeking to bring about change that will transform the quality of life of people who face severe and multiple disadvantage. We commission, co-design and grant fund a variety of practice, policy and research programmes which help us in this mission and help to tell us how change really happens for people living difficult lives at the margins of society.
Sheffield Hallam University - Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research (CRESR) is a leading UK policy research centre, which seeks to understand the impact of social and economic disadvantage on places and people, and assess critically the policies and interventions targeted at these issues.
Using collective insight gathered by BAC-IN friends and peers, the goal is to establish and learn from a ‘new paradigm’ for services for BAME people facing multiple disadvantage at individual, family and community level.
Primary learning aims of:
a) Exploring the lives of BAC-IN peers and hidden experiences of disadvantage, our sense is that the
experiences of BAC-IN peers are rarely voiced or amplified and that there may be some
fundamental differences with other life trajectories – whether due to culture, background, values,
faith or other themes – which mean these experiences are poorly understood. We would therefore
like to learn in-depth about the lives and experiences of BAC-IN’s network of friends and peers.
Provisional lines of enquiry include:
• Experiences of disadvantage, including the impact of cultural identity
• Experiences of seeking and accessing support services in both ‘specialist’ and ‘mainstream’ settings
• Pathways into ‘recovery’ and conceptions of a rewarding life
b) Developing and learning about elements of a successful model for supporting BAME communities
facing multiple disadvantage CRESR is working alongside BAC-IN and Lankelly Chase to understand,
develop and communicate their model through a collective learning. The aim is not to only
question and identify whether BAC-IN’s approach ‘works’, but especially why and how, addressing
both strengths and challenges.
Provisional lines of enquiry include:
• The impact and importance of BAC-IN’s ‘peer-led’ approach
• The role(s) of culture, faith and spirituality in supporting BAC-IN’s friends and peers
• The role of specialist services in the context of a generic/mainstream system
Methodologies being used:
Methodology for how the learning outcomes can be achieved are based on the principles of co-production, shared understanding, openness and reflection:
Face-to-face in-depth interviews
Using a co-produced approach, BAC-IN peers (having progressed significantly in their recovery) will be trained and supported themselves to explore in-depth the lived and hidden experiences of disadvantage of other BAC-IN peers, within a cultural context. Comprehensive training in interviewing skills, ethics, data collection and analysis would be provided.
The knowledge and understanding of the issues brought to this process by peers would serve to strengthen the research process and findings. The training would build the capacity of those individuals trained and that of the organisation and enable onward peer learning in the longer term.
There are 8-10 BAC-IN peers who will conduct 10 face-to-face in depth interviews with BAC-IN’s network of friends and peers, using a biographical approach that roots discussion in a respondent’s recovery pathway but connects this to institutional engagement (service use), and life experiences, including, the impact of cultural identity.
This approach allows correlations between different aspects of respondents’ lives to be revealed, and the consequences of (effective and ineffective) service engagement to be understood. The interviews could explore what makes a successful model for supporting BAME communities facing multiple disadvantage.
Data analysis (e.g. using Nvivo software), final output, and the presentation of findings would all be co-produced depending on the needs of the BAC-IN peers.
Learning to date
The design of the final output would be developed creatively and in conjunction with the peers to ensure they are engaged and the ‘voices’ of respondents are heard clearly by a variety of audiences.
We have produced a briefing paper and started in-depth (10 case studies), these are to be shared in the conference in December 2018.