Peer Support

PEER SUPPORT

Peer support is a service that offers a wide range of groups and workshops to help maintain or improve mental wellbeing. These activities are delivered in a relaxed and informal environment with discussion and opinions encouraged and can be accessed online, face to face or via digital homeworking handbooks. They include weekly groups of both a Newsletter group that produces seasonal magazines and a Words in Mind discussion group. The workshops available are:

  • Stress Management
  • Confidence to Work
  • Self Esteem and Resilience
  • Assertiveness and Communication
  • Ways to Wellbeing
  • Mood and Food
  • Volunteer Training

Peer support also offers a wide range of roles for people interested in volunteering or providing a more informal support role as peer supporter to Support others from their lived experiences

What does Peer Support Mean?

‘Peer Support’ means that people are coming together to share their own experiences to support each other. The main of our Peer Support service is to provide an environment where those living with mental ill health and/or hidden disabilities feel safe and accepted, where people can share their experiences without fear of judgement and feel that they are just as important as other, where people can share their experiences to help other find helpful ways of coping – or just to have the knowledge that things can be manageable.

What will I do in Peer Support?

Our Peer Support Service offers a range of workshops and small group activities which are designed to improve people’s confidence, wellbeing, and coping strategies through shared learning from others. Our sessions are facilitated by our Peer Support Coordinator, Karl, and also volunteers who have used the service, have lived experience, and have had training in supporting others.

Our groups are kept small and have a relaxed and informal atmosphere where open discussions and the sharing of opinions is encouraged. At the moment our groups include a Word in Mind group where we explore ideas through a particular topic, or our Newsletter Group in which Peer Supporters can contribute to a newsletter around any education they would like to give around particular diagnoses/challenges in mental health and/or hidden disabilities; share art work, poems, comment on what is happening in Kirklees….or anything else people are interested in!

Our Workshops have more of a focus around areas of wellbeing. These are kept as very small groups and people are encouraged to contribute as much or as little as they like to get the most out of the session for them. As a group of Peers, we will support each other recognising what certain topics mean, the challenges that things can make, and how to overcome these challenges and develop coping strategies. At present our workshops include Assertiveness and Communication, Self-esteem and Resilience, Stress Management and Confidence to Work. See our ‘Workshops’ tab for more details.

Is Peer Support Right for Me?

Peer support can be helpful when used on its own, or alongside talking therapies such as CBT. What you gain from Peer Support is very personal, but it can help you to share any worries, concerns, or any positive steps you’ve made in a group which is safe and understanding. Taking part in Peer Support can help you identify skills and build your confidence by working with others, it can also help you develop social networks. It can give you a sense of not being alone, and the positive feeling that sharing your experiences might be able to help others. Peer Support isn’t for everyone though so if you would like to discuss this further please call 01484 434866 and our Peer Support Coordinator will be happy to discuss further with you.

Optional Peer Support and Volunteer Roles

Peer Supporter

At Kirklees Employment Service we offer the informal volunteer role of Peer Supporter to provide support and encouragement to the people that access our groups and workshops. This can include providing advice or opinions in workshops or contributing to the weekly groups.

Peer Support Champions

Kirklees Employment service is constantly striving to reach out to all elements of our community, to ensure inclusivity and that the service is accessible to all. If you would like to be a champion and help to attract a particular sector of the community to the service then please get in touch.

Workshop Volunteers

As a service we have a long and proud history with volunteers. We welcome any member of the community over the age of 18 with or without lived mental health experience to join us in supporting staff in delivery of workshops and groups. These activities are delivered in a very relaxed environment and full training and support are provided to all volunteers.

IT Volunteers

The Employment Service provides a wide range of online Services and digital material. If you have good IT skills and have a few hours to spare to help create new digital material or offer tech support in online workshops please get in touch.

Event Volunteers

Kirklees Employment Service often attends promotional or fundraising events and volunteers can provide vital support engaging with members of the community and promoting the service and volunteering. As an event volunteer you can chose which events to come along to help give information to people who potentially want to use the service.

Employer engagement Volunteers

The Employment Service Strives to educate and support businesses in Kirklees in regard to mental health and volunteers can play a vital role in this, sharing their own personal experiences and co-delivering workshops in the workplace.