Peer Support and Peer Mentoring
It’s important to know we’re not alone in our experiences and particularly in our struggles. This is why we provide opportunities for people living with HIV or hepatitis C to meet others in the same situation. We call this ‘peer support’ and it allows people to share their experiences, help each other, reduce isolation and build supportive social networks.
We offer peer support in group settings and one-to-one with either a trained volunteer peer mentors or a member of staff who is living with HIV or hepatitis C – we appreciate that not everyone feels comfortable joining a group.
Peer support may be based on gender, sexuality, age or culture so our peer support groups include African groups, young people’s groups, women’s and gay men’s groups. However, a peer may simply be someone else who is living with HIV or Hepatitis C. All groups and initial one-to-one meetings are facilitated by a member of staff to ensure they are safe, confidential, friendly and supportive settings.
Peer support is often based around an activity such as a visit to a cafe or the theatre. Groups are also organised around learning a new skill such as knitting or gardening or around a workshop on topics such as eating well on a budget or telling people about your HIV or Hepatitis C status. Find out more about our groups.
The benefits for you in using group or one-to-one peer support can include:
· Reassurance from others in the same situation
· New friendships
· Increased confidence and self-esteem
· Being better able to live well with HIV or Hepatitis C
· Learning new skills.
Get involved in Peer Mentoring:
If you are living with HIV or hepatitis C and are interested in using your experiences to help others, we can help you access training to become a peer mentor.
A peer mentor is a trained volunteer who uses their own experiences to support people living with HIV or hepatitis C to work through some of the challenges they may be facing.
Peer mentoring could offer you a unique opportunity to help other people, while developing new skills, and building self confidence.
Get in touch with your local office for peer support in your area.
Our HIV peer mentor training is provided in partnership with Positively UK’s Project 100.
Our hepatitis C peer mentor training programme is delivered by Waverley Care with funding from People’s Postcode Trust, a grant-giving charity funded by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery.