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The positive power of peer-led learning

We invited peers and staff from North Ayrshire Wellbeing & Recovery College and Discovery College, Highlands to share their experiences.

For the first in our series of we brought over 50 people together online to explore peer-led learning and the difference it makes. The session included spotlight conversations with guests from both the colleges as well as break out discussions with Peer Connects participants. We also premiered a brand new Peer Support in Action! film which is now available to watch and share (see below for an absolutely inspiring 4 mins, 18 secs!).

Over the next few months we’ll be sharing learning and resources from the event in our . This month we’re looking at North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College. Watch out next month for more about the new and the fantastic work they do.

North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College

In this spotlight conversation we chatted with John (Peer Champion), Louise (Administrator) and Jeanette (Manager). They told us how the peer-led learning environment sits at the heart of how the college works. The Peer Pathway enables people with lived experience of mental health to co-facilitate the learning. Evidence and evaluation continue to highlight the success of this peer-led approach.

With a focus on developing individuals emotional, mental and physical wellbeing, there are a wide range of opportunities available. Many of the students that enrol go on to work or volunteer with the college. 

John’s story

It started with a referral from NHS mental health services and has led to helping others as a Peer Volunteer and now paid work as a Peer Champion.

I came in not knowing what to expect at all. Within a few months I think I kind of thought, I’ve found my home. I’ve found a place where people kind of understand what’s happening.

Its been a great journey. The highlight is coming into a room and seeing people who are just coming in for the first time. Just seeing that moment where they go, “Oh my God it’s not just me.” Oh!.. and the pressure just kinda lifts off them.

John, North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College

Louise’s story

Similar to John, Louise joined the college as a student at a difficult point in her life. She explained that the peer approach to learning with people with lived experience is fundamental to her success. The college creates an environment where she isn’t judged. Where if she has a bad day that’s okay. Louise is now an Administrator working in the college office. A key part of her role is helping people who are thinking of taking that first step to enrol in the college. Being open about her own experience is invaluable for new students nervous around taking that first step. 

Laura’s story

Catch up on our first ever Peer Chat Live at Lunch! as we chat to Laura Stevenson, a Peer Volunteer, from North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College.

But having the college & the positivity that surrounds it, it’s just changed me. It’s gave me somewhere to go & be my actual true self. It’s been life changing.

Laura, Peer Volunteer. North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College

Peer Support in Action film launches!

We’re pulling out all the stops to support and showcase all the fantastic peer support activity happening in Scotland!

Peer Connects 2: peer support in services and crisis support

The second in our terrific trio of participatory online events to connect, share and learn with people passionate about the power of peer support!