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, training or running groups.
Through special interest and 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 leading and facilitating peer support groups for people with mental health support needs.
Some of the groups include: writing, self-care, wellness planning and mindfulness.
To work as part of a team running peer support groups in the Brighton area.
You will be encouraging and empowering individuals attending to get involved and contribute as much as possible. This peer support volunteering opportunity will be for a six month time period.
- To support and encourage the development and running of peer support/special interest groups and activities in response to need and demand.
- To offer informal support to people using the service, including actively listening and, if appropriate, directing individuals to appropriate agencies for further support.
- To work with individuals and groups to encourage involvement in participation in all aspects of the running of the groups including user led peer support sessions.
- To contribute to the provision of a welcoming, safe and comfortable environment for a diverse range of people with mental health challenges.
- To liaise with other Peer Support Volunteers and staff to ensure the smooth running of the Peer Support service.
- To be punctual, committed and reliable for a six month period.
- To report any problems, issues, or health and safety concerns.
- To maintain appropriate boundaries with clients of the service.
- To participate in regular group supervision, training and meetings as required.
- To contribute to and support new service developments in response to changing needs.
- To work flexibly, and be prepared to perform other duties within the reasonable expectations of the role.
- When dealing with clients who have mental health support needs; to promote positive understanding, awareness and attitudes amongst others and promote the work of th Peer Support service.
- To comply with all organisational policies and procedures in particular the Volunteer Code of Conduct and to ensure safe, fair and responsible working practices through implementation of BHT’s Health & Safety, Equal Opportunities, and Confidentiality policies.
Note to applicants
All of the essential criteria which can be tested from the application form will be used for shortlisting purposes.
You should attempt to describe how you meet these criteria in the General Experience section of the application form, giving examples where possible.
Candidates who demonstrate these qualities will be invited in for an informal chat with the Peer Support Coordinator.
Role Title: Peer Support Volunteer
Education / Qualifications
Basic administration skills and ability to write messages.
Ongoing and/or past personal experience of mental health issues.
Skills, Knowledge, Abilities & Qualities
- friendly, welcoming and approachable manner
- thoughtful, motivated and committed
- good listening and communication skills
- able to be firm and assertive when required
- able to encourage, support and motivate client participation
- understanding of the importance of maintaining appropriate boundaries with clients
- enjoys working with others and able to work as part of a team
- able to appreciate and acknowledge differences in individual experience of mental health problems and services
- understanding of the importance and practice of equal opportunities
DBS Disclosure is required for this post as you will be working with vulnerable adults.