Exploring peer-led approaches to wellbeing

22nd November 2018

A recent SRN partnership event in Aberdeen showed that the development of and interest in peer-led approaches to wellbeing continues to grow. Holly Hendry, SRN’s Network Officer for the North of Scotland tells us more.

The future of peer

‘The Future’s Bright; The Future’s Peer’ event brought people together around the theme and experience of peer. This came as a direct response to a lot of conversations around peer activity, a growing interest in people wanting to learn from each other and a huge amount of interest in the free training resource Peer2peer. As SRN’s Network Officer for the area I felt it was important to be able to respond meaningfully to regional interests and this seemed like a first step in building on connections of people with a specific interest in the future of peer.

The event

The event provided a platform for people to come together to share, learn and explore the possibilities of peer-led approaches and what this means for them locally. It was for anyone with an interest in peer roles and peer-led ways to support wellbeing. The aim was to highlight a range of different ways of working, from how peer roles had been developed strategically in some areas, to on the ground approaches, delivery and experiences. The event itself ran over a whole day with workshop options and a chance for local activity to be showcased through a ‘speed trading’ activity. Projects supporting recovery in both mental health and addictions attended which was a really important coming together of the experience of wellness and recovery regardless of our diagnosis or detail of experience.

This event was only possible through the partnership of people and organisations who contributed time and energy to delivery on the day. All of these contributions were made by organisations and partnerships that are either peer led or who have peer approaches embedded within their work. Here is a snap shot of each of the workshops:

Peer approaches

Moray Wellbeing Hub / Earth for Life

The theme of this workshop was interdependence. Participants explored how we can be ‘Peers of the Planet’ as humans; recovering our connection to each other as well as nature through shared experiences. Through the workshop an exploration of experiences around the power of peer with community members, planet and business evolved and everyone was encouraged to set one action to take forward for change.

Developing Peer Roles Locally

Health and Social Care Moray / Making Recovery Real in Dundee Partnership

Both partners shared their experience of developing peer roles in their local area and the approaches taken to do so. Both emphasised the role of lived experience being central to how opportunities developed and how the voice of the community has played a vital role in strategic planning and commissioning.

Training and Development: Building Experience as Expertise

Aberdeen Foyer / Making Recovery Real in Dundee Partnership

This workshop focused on sharing experiences of delivering and participating in the free training resource Peer2peer. Aberdeen Foyer’s Peer2peer story was from an organisational perspective and they shared how the resource has supported their peer mentor training programme. The Making Recovery Real in Dundee Partnership spoke about their experience of a collaborative city wide approach to its delivery. The workshop involved conversation more widely around supporting people to build experience as expertise and what people need to support this locally.

What Next?

The conversation around peer is definitely gathering momentum and there is certainly is no fixed idea of how this will evolve. There was a lot of energy at the event that can be built on. It’s really important that those who are interested in what the future of peer looks like work together to make peer a more integral part of our society where lived experience is valued, supported and invested in. SRN can play a role is supporting and facilitating these conversations locally and we also have a range of free resources to support these journeys’. As a national organisation we can provide a platform from which to share learning, practice and experiences from people in communities.

Interested in telling us what’s happening in your area or organisation? Contact 0141 240 7790 or info@scottishrecovery.net  contact a Network Officer in your area

Check out some of the pictures from the day

The Future's Peer: Aberdeen Oct 2018

Thank you for a great informative day with wonderful people, sharing and ideas.– Participant