What is Peer Support?
Peer support is an equal relationship between individuals or groups of people who get together to give and receive information, advice and support. It’s a chance for people to share their experiences, learn things they would not have known otherwise, and support each other around a particular issue.
Up until now Equal Lives has provided opportunities for people to access peer support through our Member Groups, Independent Living Groups (ILGs) and as part of our project work. For example the ILGs meet to support each other and share information about personal budgets and other issues concerning living independently. The Moving Forward Project helped people to take a positive and creative approach to perhaps getting back into work and allowed people to share their own experiences, learn from and encourage each other to overcome the barriers to achieving that.
Opportunity to be a Peer Supporter
Equal Lives are creating an opportunity for people to get some one-to-one support primarily around applying for and/or managing a personal budget/direct payment.
Our first round of peer support training finished in April and was completed by 5 volunteers. They thought it was “trainee led”, “engaging”, “informative”, “practical”, “engaging” and “fun”. These peer supporters are starting their induction and post training activities in the office before starting their new role.
We are now looking for more volunteers and will be repeating the training later in the year so there is still an opportunity to get involved. We are looking for people who are aware of the barriers disabled people face and who preferably have some experience of personal budgets. You would not be expected to offer advice, but to use your own experience to support with specific tasks and issues, and to work with our advisors to hopefully improve the experience of those accessing services.
We will run 6 half day training sessions for our peer supporters to enable them to carry out the role confidently. Volunteers would also be able to access other training at Equal Lives as well as an opportunity to achieve a Level 2 Gateway qualification in volunteering. All travel expenses will be paid and it’s a great way to learn new skills.
For more information about the role and to apply online go to our volunteers page or download and send in the application.