peers who volunteer
The Views of providers
A commitment to lived experience
Many providers are committed to the people with lived experience who work in their organisations in both volunteer and paid roles.
They value the added benefits that their service users derive from being supported by people who can share their own experiences as well as providing real-life examples of successful recovery. They know that peer volunteers can reduce feelings of isolation and increase feelings of self-worth and self-sufficiency, they can also build trust and confidence and, as a result, succeed in connecting the people they support to other services and opportunities.
Provider organisations also know that they benefit from the insights and different viewpoints of peer volunteers working alongside paid staff. Peer volunteers are able to suggest improvements in ways of working to make services more effective and more shaped to the needs of the people they serve.
Good providers also know the value of growing their workforce by employing peer volunteers who have received in-house training and are aware of their working culture and practices.
Below you can see short video interviews with people from providers about the benefits their organisations have gained from welcoming and supporting people with lived experience as volunteers and paid staff.
You can also download the best practice guide here.
The views of providers
Jacob Hill, founder of Offploy which helps people with criminal convictions find work, talks about the value of peer mentors. He says that peer mentoring is invaluable to his organisation but must end up with the opportunity of finding paid work. He calls on us to expand our understanding of lived experience and urges public and private sector organisations to value and recruit people who have been in contact with the criminal justice system.