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.
A Space for the Collective Peer Voice
In September 2021, I began my journey as Peer Volunteer Development Worker at CAPS Independent Advocacy. I call it a journey rather than a position or role because like any journey that leaves you more skilled and knowledgeable than before you started, so too my time at CAPS has been filled with learning. Although I wear quite a few hats as Peer Volunteer Development worker, a large part of it involves facilitating the Peer Forum— a collective advocacy space for people who work/volunteer in a peer way in Edinburgh.
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.
Our Focus for 2022
Our overall aim is to strengthen peer practice in Edinburgh.
Gathering Peer Voices is our online open morning which we host twice a year. It is open to Edinburgh’s Peer Workers and Volunteers and all people interested in mental health, recovery and lived experience. It is a space for conversation, so that we can hear what people would like our priorities to be as a community.
Our theme for our March 2022 event was Taking Action. What people spoke about, as being important to them with regards to action needed in peer work and peer support, fell into four categories –
- A Collective Voice – to ensure that peer workers and people with lived experience in general have a collective voice that is being heard in the right places.
- Knowledge and Understanding – to build a better understanding of what peer support can offer.
- Access and Inclusion – to ensure that the right peer support is available and clearly accessible; and that people with different needs, identities and experiences can be well supported and feel safe in our peer spaces and services.
- Resources – Peer spaces and services need to be properly resourced.
Based on the conversations at this event and follow up discussions at our steering group, these will be our priorities as a community over the next year.
Looking for a Peer Role?
If you are looking for a paid role, keep an eye on Goodmoves. Some organisations send out recruitment updates to people who have signed up to receive them so you may want to explore this.
You can also sign up for our newsletter to be kept up to date on roles as they come up.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.