Peer Community

The Peer Community is a part of Thrive Edinburgh and organised by The Peer Partnership –  a partnership between Health in Mind and CAPS Independent Advocacy. We’re here to support and enable people with lived experience of mental health challenges and recovery to intentionally use their experiences to accompany others through their recovery. Our aim is to strengthen peer practice in Edinburgh.

At the bottom of this page you will find ways to contact us and stay informed on what is happening in the Peer Community, as well as a link to our upcoming meetings, courses and workshops.

My Peer Journey Through Edinburgh

My journey began in 2019 when I saw that Health in Mind were looking for fundraising volunteers to collect money during the Edinburgh Festivals. My own mental health history had given me a strong desire to support a relevant charity and I love to extract money out of tourists, so it was a win-win situation. During my introduction to Health in Mind I found out about peer work: a chance to use my lived experience of mental health struggles and recovery to support and empower others – sign me up!

The training to be a peer support volunteer was thorough, thought-provoking and actually a bit fun. There was a small group of us learning side-by-side, sharing experiences and practicing our listening skills on one another. My fellow peer support trainees were lovely, empathetic people and I knew I had found a special community. Continue reading here.

Co-created Yoga at Redhall Gardens

I joined the team at Redhall Walled Gardens as Peer Worker back in September 2020. I was new to peer work, but I wasn’t new to the values or ways of working as a peer. Unaware of it myself, I had actually been embodying the principles of peer work through my offerings as a yoga teacher.

Outside of my role at Redhall I run yoga classes and sessions across the city. My passion is facilitating a space to guide people in exploring breath work, embodied, somatic movement and meditation practices within their own bodies.

Yoga and somatic movement has been instrumental in my own journey of recovery and healing, offering me such safety, acceptance, awareness and connection. It has encouraged me to explore my own mind and body, connect, build strength and find stability (both physically and mentally). Continue reading here.

Our Focus for 2021

Our aim is to strengthen peer practice in Edinburgh.

In our January consultation event, we asked people what strong peer practice looks like. They answered –

  • Peer spaces and services with shared values
  • An empowered collective voice
  • Welcoming, safe and well facilitated groups and services
  • An appreciation and understanding of peer practice amongst organisations and other professionals
  • Well supported Peer Workers who are encouraged to practice self care
  • Accessible services
  • Properly funded services

Based on the above and other conversations at the consultation event, our key areas of interest are –  

  • Building awareness and understanding of peer practice
  • Challenging stigma surrounding mental health challenges and lived experience
  • Promoting accessibility in peer spaces

Side by Side – The Power of Peer Support

The Side by Side – The Power of Peer Support short film discusses the value of lived experience and peer work. The film features peer workers based in Edinburgh sharing their experience of this approach to mental health support and the potential future they see for this powerful approach to recovery. The Peer Work Values featured in the film were developed by The Scottish Recovery Network.

We are passionate about promoting peer practice as a unique and powerful way of aiding mental health recovery. We are very happy for people to use these films for educational and social media purposes in order to promote better understanding of peer practice and its values. We ask that The Peer Collaborative (now The Peer Community) be credited when doing so.

Professional Development Award in Mental Health Peer Support

A group of people gardening outside a building.

The course and PDA are both free to attend/complete and can equip you with the knowledge, skills and values which are necessary to carry out this role with confidence.

Following on your 5-day Peer Work Course, you can complete a Professional Development Award (PDA) in Mental Health Peer Support. Upcoming courses can be found in the Courses and Workshops section below.

The PDA recognises, develops and celebrates the skills of those currently working and volunteering in Peer Work roles and those wishing to get their first Peer Work role.

Support is offered throughout and evidence of learning and its application to your practice is offered through written evidence.

Please email for more information.


Keep in touch

Monthly newsletter: Sign up form
Latest newsletterPeer Community Newsletter January 2021 

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