80+ people attended our Side by Side Evaluation Event in Coventry this week to celebrate the brilliance of peer support.  The Side by Side programme provides valuable evidence of the benefits of Peer Support and how it might work effectively.  We eagerly await the publication of the Peer Support Group Tool Kit later in the year, too.

Fran (left) was the Peer Support Coordinator for CW Mind during Side by Side, we will be sorry to see her go!

Elizabeth Lademeji (right) from the Side by Side programme team at National Mind presented the early findings report and told us Coventry and Warwickshire Mind should be very proud of today's event.

The key findings of the project were:

  • Peer support improves people’s sense of wellbeing, their ability to connect with others, increases their sense of hope and improves their ability to make decisions and take action.
  • Peer support services should be integrated into or offered alongside all mental health services across England and Wales.
  • We found clear, evidence-based values underpinning successful community-based peer support.
  • Despite evidence that peer support is cost-effective, it is not cost-free.
  • A range of peer support options should be provided, including projects for and by marginalised communities.
  • All peer support should offer a range of opportunities and support to give people choice about the type of support they do and don’t access.

Click here to read more about Side by Side and its findings...