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The University's Chapel lit up in purple.

For the third year in a row, the University’s Chapel will be illuminated in purple on International Recovery Day (Friday, September 30) to show solidarity with staff and students in recovery from addictions and to indicate its ongoing commitment to addressing the stigma surrounding recovery and addictions.

Dr Wendy Dossett, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, whose award-winning research explores the role of spirituality in communities of addiction recovery, explained: “People find it easier to seek support when the barriers of stigma are dismantled. Stigma can only be addressed if our social institutions, including universities, address it corporately. I’m proud that the University of Chester acknowledges and honours staff and students who are in, or seeking, recovery from addictions. 

“Lighting our Chapel in purple on this significant day of celebration is part of that, but the University is doing so much more. We have a ‘Staff in Recovery’ group that meets weekly for confidential peer-support at the interface of recovery with workplace issues. This year, for the first time, we are offering Recovery Ally training to staff and students. This training will help us not only to develop the support people in recovery might need, but also to acknowledge and celebrate the strengths they bring to our university community. 

“Furthermore, the University of Chester is a leading partner with other Higher Education Institutions in national discussions towards a Pledge for the ‘Recovery Friendly University'. The Pledge will be launched later this year.”

Wendy added: “We recognise that the stigma associated with addiction is particularly ‘sticky’ and there is so much more to do. However, there is a groundswell of interest in challenging this stigma here at Chester, and indeed in the university sector more widely. We’re delighted that the University of Chester is in the vanguard of these national conversations.”

If you would like to get involved in the conversation about recovery within the university sector in the UK, or within the University of Chester specifically, please get in touch with Wendy by emailing:

More information about International Recovery Day is available at:

The following organisations offer free support for addictions:

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