My name is Saffron and I have been the Peer Support Coordinator nearly 6 months now. It’s been really exciting being part of developing the peer support service and I have been buzzing with ideas since the day I started. Being in a working environment where I am encouraged to just go for it has been an amazing experience!
To me, peer support is a massive part of this centre already as it’s about women helping women. It was decided quite early on that that what we would define our peer support service as – ‘women making a conscious decision to support other women’. That simple. To be a volunteer peer support worker you mainly need to have that passion and drive to do just that. The rest can be taught!
My role is about identifying the different areas within the Centre that would benefit from having that extra help of a peer support worker, creating and recruiting for the role. We have meet and greet peer support worker in the welcome space, educational peer support worker in our Functional English and Maths classes and peer support workers in many other areas of the Centre such as our Crafty Club and Mum and Toddler group.
Its massively important to me that the peer support workers get the guidance and encouragement that they need to achieve their goals too. Therefore, a lot of our time has been spent looking at how we can do this. We have developed core training for all volunteers, feedback forms, trial periods to ensure you’re in a role that is suitable, regular supervisions where we can look at individual needs as well as support back into employment. Peer support is about creating benefit and opportunity for all involved. If it sounds like something you would enjoy doing, don’t hesitate to contact me!