Developing strengths in communities with volunteer peer to peer programmes
The overall intention for any perinatal peer support initiative is to improve outcomes for pregnant mothers, their partners, families, babies and communities.
However, it can be daunting to get a new peer support programme off the ground and to keep it going – there is lots to explore!
Many great volunteer initiatives are conceived with noble aspirations. However, all too often they don’t achieve the outcomes they hope for.
Some become unsustainable over time, either due to lack of continued investment, policy or even workforce changes and volunteering is often commissioned as an ‘add on’ rather than being embedded into the landscape of the local ‘system’.
Whether you’re looking at strengthening or adapting an existing programme that’s already underway or thinking of creating something completely new, we can help you every step of the way. From learning about the evidence and why it’s a good idea in the first place, right through to preparing for and delivering a sustainable and effective volunteer support programme.
Our approach works – some of the ways we can help are:
- Bringing together local partners to decide if peer support can help – including understanding your local area and how it might fit;
- Designing a programme that is bespoke, with distinct outcomes that fit with your local community;
- Planning for success – getting a financial sustainability plan in place, to avoid instability in the long-term;
- Making it happen in reality – the practicalities of running a programme including recruiting and training volunteers;
- Making a difference – is it? How do we know? Evaluating the impact.
We also provide bespoke support including:
- Advice from our experts on all aspects of peer support from starting out, adapting to evaluation and measuring impact;
- Supporting/presenting at national and local events (what is peer support, why it works, the evidence base etc.);
- Bespoke workshops – e.g. commissioner training that sets out a recommended approach to peer support specification;
- Me & My Community – an informal, fun and friendly course for parents that inspires and motivates providing a pathway into existing volunteering opportunities locally;
- Volunteer supervision and learning events for co-ordinators.