peers who volunteer

The Best Practice Guide

A guide on how to support people with lived experience

There is a robust evidence base that many people who volunteer as peer mentors benefit from the experience of giving back, rebuilding their self-esteem and recognising that they have something to offer. However, there is also clear evidence that not all peer volunteers are provided with the support they deserve.

Whilst many peer volunteers are provided with the training and on-going support they need to succeed, including with opportunities to progress into paid employment, others receive little to no training and support, and often have little choice about what role they take as volunteers.

We have created a document that sets out best practice in supporting peer volunteers derived from and informed by the lived experience of more than 250 peer volunteers. It recognises that peer volunteers in different organisations will operate in different ways and will have different support needs.

Therefore, this is not a prescriptive “how to” guide, but rather a document which discusses the key topics from the peer volunteer perspective and offers a set of principles to guide organisations in developing the most appropriate support structures.

You can either download the document in full here or browse the different sections of the guide by following the links below.

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