The first dedicated peer support worker event was held at Preston North End with more than 70 people coming together to celebrate the incredible work our peer support colleagues offer to the Trust.
The peer support network was launched in February 2022 and the benefits are already being felt across the Trust with many positive stories being shared and recognised.
The morning started with inspiring peer stories and people sharing their own lived experiences, which highlights why the peer support network is so invaluable. These included speakers from Red Rose Recovery, Calico, and Jocelyn who shared her story of Postpartum Psychosis.
One peer support worker commented:
“I am so proud of the work I do as a peer support worker and as a result my home life has dramatically improved. I am happier and feel more valued in all parts of my life.”
Peer support workers are proving to have a positive impact on service users and fellow staff members. They offer support to service users and ward managers alike as they can offer support on non-clinical subjects and share their own lived experiences without the same time pressures that clinical staff often face.
Dawn Brindle, Experience Manager said:
“It has been amazing to see the journey of our peer workers and the constructive impact they are having. If anyone is interested in peer support work, you should do it because the benefits are so far stretching, the possibilities are endless.”
The sharing of lived experiences can make service users feel more relaxed as they can appreciate what they have been through and develop trusting relationships with each other. They can also see real successful examples of people walking the recovery path and securing a job in a professional environment.
The afternoon focused on the training and development opportunities and how we can build successful partnerships with open table discussions and workshops focussing on confidence, building shields and staying connected.
After the event Ibrahim Tanner, Senior Peer Facilitator concluded:
“The day went really well and was a great success on several fronts. Firstly, we were able to spread the message about Peer Support workers and the special opportunities they offer to busy ward managers and their equally busy staff.
“Secondly, the day gave Peers a real sense of their place in the organisation and a feeling of belonging. Peers often work in isolation from other Peers and other teams. The day gave them a sense that they are not alone and a lot of new relationships and potential networks came from the event.”