What is peer support?
Peer support happens informally in all areas of life. The idea is that people who have been through similar experiences can provide support to each other based on their shared and personal understanding.
By peer we mean someone who needs or has previously needed support with mental health challenges. Peer Support Volunteers can support people in similar situations through non-judgmental listening and empathy, and practically by providing information or signposting.
Through peer-led activity groups, this supporting through shared experience is the basis of the peer support within both the Mental Health & Wellbeing and Threshold Women’s Counselling Services.
What does a peer support volunteer do?
As a Peer Support Volunteer, you will be co-facilitating peer-led activities for people with mental health support needs.
Our peer-led activities run on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons plus occasional additional workshops.
Previous activities have included art, writing, drama, life skills and relaxation.
To work as part of a team running peer-led activity groups in Brighton and Hove.
You will be encouraging and empowering individuals attending to get involved and contribute as much as possible. We ask that volunteers commit to an initial six month period.
- Working with other members of the team to co-produce and facilitate peer-led activity groups.
- Offering informal support to people using the service, including actively listening and if appropriate, signposting to appropriate agencies for further support.
- Encouraging clients to have their say in the running of the service through regular feedback forums.
- Creating a welcoming, safe and comfortable environment for a diverse range of people accessing the service.
- Debriefing with a member of staff after each group, reporting any problems, issues or health and safety concerns.
- Evaluating and reflecting upon the success of each activity.
- To be punctual, committed and reliable for a six month period.
- Taking part in regular group supervision, training and meetings as required.
- Working flexibly, and to be prepared to perform other duties within the reasonable expectations of the role.
- Promoting positive understanding, awareness and attitudes towards mental health and wellbeing.
- Compliance with all organisational policies and procedures, in particular the Volunteer Code of Conduct and BHT’s Health & Safety, Equal Opportunities and Confidentiality policies.
Please use the application form to describe how you meet the criteria listed below.
Applicants who demonstrate these qualities will be invited for an informal chat with the Peer Support Coordinator.
Role Title: Peer Support Volunteer
- lived experience of mental health challenges
Skills, Knowledge, Abilities & Qualities
- basic administration skills including the ability to write messages
- effective listening and communication skills
- able to be firm and assertive when required
- able to appreciate and acknowledge differences in individual experiences of mental health challenges and services
- understanding of the importance of maintaining appropriate boundaries with clients
- understanding of the importance of equal opportunities
- an enhanced DBS check is required for this post as you will be working with vulnerable adults