Peer support is support exchanged between people who have something in common. It is a system of ‘giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility and mutual agreement of what is helpful […] and it is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience’ (Mead, 2003).

Shaw Trust is a national charity that helps people facing disadvantage gain skills, find work and take control of their future. We are actively recruiting volunteers who can share their experience of living with and managing their own condition (or closely supporting someone who lives with a condition) and who are now in employment. By sharing your experience you will help empower our clients.

As a peer support volunteer you would talk to our clients about your experience and journey. Initially this will be to small groups, and then one to one support for clients could be arranged as a follow-up to attending a group session. This volunteering could take place in a single site or across multiple sites depending on volunteers and venue availability.
Peer support offers many benefits for both sides, for example shared identity and acceptance, increased self-confidence, improved mental health, emotional resilience and wellbeing, information and signposting, challenging stigma and discrimination and importantly, hope and belief in the possibility of recovery. Our hope is that as well as these many benefits, through peer support our clients will feel empowered on their own journey, have more skills and feel more valued.

If you are interested, you can find out more about our volunteer programme by visiting our website www.shaw-trust.org.uk/support-us/volunteering/ or calling one of our team on 0300 247 2222.