Peer Support For All

By Dan Barron and Sam Dixon, Heart of the Community Project Workers

We had first found out about the Peer support for all group whilst speaking with the neighbourhood coordinator for Boston Castle so arranged a meeting with them.

The group were already holding informal sessions at Hygge but felt that they wanted to find a venue better suited to what they wanted to achieve. They wanted to be able to hold numerous sessions with space for people to talk, share their stories, support each other as well as getting involved in activity geared towards supporting positive mental health.

The committee members all have lived experience of being involved with different support services from delivery to being a group member. The group came together by sharing their different experiences and wanting to create something less prescribed and open to more engagement from community members. A place where participants feel safe and secure enough to share their stories and worries with other people that may be experiencing the same issues.

After months of searching for a venue that would be viable to run the group, the committee enquired about the Wellgate court building, which is the base for RMBC Adult Social Care and is run by Craig Pullen. At a meeting between the group and Craig, they discussed what the group wanted to achieve and how they could work together. Craig agreed that it seemed a good fit for the usage of the building as well as a partnership that could be advantageous for both the group and RMBC Services. Craig put in an official request on behalf of the group and a few weeks later they now have a license to operate in the venue.

The group have hosted 4 sessions and they have already managed to support 20 people. They are now starting to prepare for their funding application and will be consulting their participants on what they would like to do at sessions.