Peer Support

Peers at WATCH

People naturally support each other when one or more of them goes through emotional distress. Intentional peer support capitalizes on this natural phenomenon and tries to augment it and make it more productive.

Peer support is not like clinical support and it is more than just being friends. In peer support we understand each other because we have “been there” ourselves, shared similar circumstances and experiences. We can build, together, a willingness to learn and grow.

We come together with the intention of changing unhelpful patterns, getting out of the places in which we are ‘stuck’ and building relationships that are respectful, mutually responsible, and potentially mutually transforming. Instead of taking care of each other and thinking of each other as ‘sick’, in peer support we build a sense of family and community that is mutually responsible and focused on recovery and social action.

- Shery Mead, 2007 - Founder of Intentional Peer Support.

Our Mission

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  • Provide mutual support and care.
  • Form relationships that enable us to learn and grow together.
  • Help one another to access agencies for information and facilities.
  • Reduce our isolation by social interactions amongst ourselves and the community.
  • Learn to challenge our existing beliefs to help us move forward.
  • Encourage education and training.
Peer groups are designed to be safe environments where people can have open and frank discussions about difficulties in life without fear of being judged. Sometimes it can be difficult for a variety of reasons to speak to friends and family about our problems as they often don't have first-hand experience of your personal journey. In some cases people may not want to worry friends or family or you may not have people you feel close to making sharing your feelings difficult.

Peer groups or peer relationships are also about overcoming the challenges you feel and hopefully with these new friends can be involved in new social activities that can be fun.

Peer support is a relationship in which one person helps another help themselves and has been proven to help people grow and develop that sense of ‘Yes I can do this!’ We do this by encouraging people to tell their story.

These groups can manifest in any number of ways; Whether it’s just three people getting together for a coffee once a week, a fishing, walking, art, educational etc. group they can prove very cathartic and are a wonderful way to meet like-minded people. Peer groups are essentially, whatever you want them to be. Whether you’re looking to join an existing group, are interested in setting up your own group, or already are part of a group and are looking to network, you may find the following workshops, information below helpful.

We would love to hear from you!

I’d like to find out more about WATCH Peer Support Training

LJenny

WATCH CIC run high quality, informal, friendly and fun Peer Support Facilitated Workshops and Peer Support Training across Somerset.

Peer Support Facilitated Workshops will benefit if you are:
  • Wanting to access and self-refer onto this workshop.
  • Looking to increase positivity and your mental health well-being through friendships and mutual support.
  • Wanting to find out more about community well being activities or being a volunteer at a peer group in your area.

Peer Support Training will benefit if you are:
  • An organisation that would like your staff and/or volunteers to learn about peer support. Either to use internally to support one another or to use the knowledge to pass onto people you work with.
  • We will do this together through exploring, what Peer Support is and how it may be able to help you and others and what makes a good peer support member.

We come together with the intention of changing unhelpful patterns, getting out of ‘stuck’ places, and building relationships that are respectful, mutually responsible, and potentially mutually transforming. Instead of taking care of each other and thinking of each other as ‘sick’, in peer support we build a sense of family and community that is mutually responsible and focused on recovery and social action.

- Copeland & Mead, 2004.

Who can access these workshops?

BridgVisitWATCH

Anyone who is experiencing isolation for whatever reason, it may be that you’ve recently moved to the area and aren’t sure where to go to meet new friends, it could be that you’re a single parent with limited time to get out and about. Maybe your movement is restricted and it’s hard to leave the house? Whatever the cause, all are welcome here. The only investment you’ll be asked to provide is your time and energy.

What will I learn about during the workshops?

WATCH CIC employ a group of friendly and experienced facilitators who will work with you on areas such as:
  • What are the benefits of Peer Support Groups or Peer Relationships are.
  • Where do we take our peer relationships?
  • How do we ensure everyone has a voice and equal say?
  • How can we communicate more effectively with one another?
  • What have other Peer groups found really useful?
  • How to find out about resources or activities in the area?
  • Managing change – discussing some of the everyday challenges we face and how we manage the process of change to hopefully make it easier.
  • Useful self managing techniques to support recovery and well being
  • Five ways of wellbeing

How long do workshops last for and where are they held?
  • Each course is 4 to 6 weeks long and consists of a single two-hour workshop a week.
  • They are delivered in various community venues all across Somerset – free courses are at times available and funded by Somerset County Council
  • Regular Peer group workshops run from the Chard WATCH project throughout the year.
Is a peer support workshop suitable for me?

LeePaula

  • Yes -- If you have mild or moderate mental health issues and are looking to get well/stay well and would find working in a small group of peers helpful then these workshops are suitable for you. You may wish to discuss this option with your Dr / NHS support worker or any organization like a housing organization case worker.
  • Yes -- If you are isolated and feel you can makes friends and have an interest in getting involved in community activities, with support from peers then these workshops are suitable for you.
What do I need to do next?

If you are interested in finding out where your nearest workshop is being held, the next start date or just want to find out a bit more, you can contact:
  • The CHARD WATCH CIC Office on 01460 261264, between the hours of 10:00-14:00 Tuesday-Thursday.
  • Our email at chardwatchproject@gmail.com
  • Or complete this Expression of Interest form and send it to CHARD WATCH CIC c/o Forefront Community Center, 42 Fore Street, Chard, Somerset, TA20 1QA, and wait for us to get in touch.
GarLee

How Peer Support Training can benefit:
  • Participants can share wisdom, knowledge and life experiences.
  • Peers engage together to access resources form a wide range of sources
  • Creates a nurturing environment in which new skills are learnt to foster further growth.
  • It provides a safe, validating and supportive environment along the way.
  • To provide understanding of wellbeing and self managing skills.
Peer Support training workshops are provided so that you can learn and understand more about Peer Relationships, Peer Support and the benefits. WATCH CIC has developed a quality training package that has been tried and tested to meet the requirements of participants. WATCH approved facilitators are able to work with any groups of participants and run courses from any venue across Somerset.

KimQ ValQ

The aims of the training course are either:
  • Encourage a mutually supportive group between work colleagues.
  • Or to use the knowledge to encourage people you support as an organisation to create their own Peer Groups/Peer Relationships.
Courses usually run over 4 consecutive weeks, 2 hours per week on set days and times to be agreed with purchaser. Groups can be run on a minimum of 4 and maximum of 12 attendees.

GemLucy

The course aims to help promote relationships that are supportive and encourage growth. In particular it is peer relationships, helpful friends with shared experience that can form a vital, positive support network.

We believe that through learning how to strengthen your own resources you’ll feel more able to make peer relationships work and go on to feeling more positive and confident within work or supporting others in managing their own mental health.

Our quality service Peer Support Training package can be adapted to meet the requirements of organisations and will be priced accordingly. The basic package could cost as little as £150 per participant.

NickQuote

If you are:
  • looking to join a Peer Support Training course
  • interested in providing a Peer Support Training course in your group/setting or organisation
  • interested in training/support that will help when setting up a new Peer Group
  • interested in training/support to help run an existing Peer Group
  • interested in support or supervision to work through concerns with an existing group
  • needing help to reinstate or renew a Peer Group
  • or you would like a bespoke package of Training and Support around Peer work.
Please contact:
  • The CHARD WATCH CIC Office on 01460 261264, between the hours of 10:00-14:00 Tuesday-Thursday.
  • Our email at chardwatchproject@gmail.com
  • Or complete the Training Request Form attached below and send it to CHARD WATCH CIC c/o Forefront Community Center, 42 Fore Street, Chard, Somerset, TA20 1QA, and wait for us to get in touch.