A collaboration between statutory and voluntary sector organisations across Sussex has facilitated the production of a peer led and produced the Principles of Peer Support Charter.

The Charter aims to promote the principles of peer support and the varied settings and diversity of approaches across communities.

The production of the Charter came out of the 'Principled Ways of Working' conference held on 30th November 2017, organised by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and chaired by NSUN Managing Director Sarah Yiannoullou. A video of the day was produced, recording the presentations, workshop discussions, contributions and key messages about peer support, involvement and co-production across the day. You can view the full and shorter edited version HERE.

Speakers, participants and facilitators were all people who have used a range of mental health services across the statutory and voluntary sector. Themes were drawn from the day and an implementation group of interested people across Sussex came together to work towards a shared understanding of what peer support is, why it works and when it works. 

The overall aim was to achieve a cross sector approach to establishing principled ways of working in peer support and participation across Sussex.

The objectives were to:

  • produce a Peer Support Charter setting out the principles and value of peer support, 
  • increase understanding and raise awareness of peer support,
  • develop a co-ordinated approach with partners around peer support and involvement (informed by the 4Pi National Involvement Standards) across Sussex,
  • increase the ability for people to choose what works for them,
  • strengthen partnership working and learning across the sectors (Statutory and Voluntary Sector) and organisations, particularly user led initiatives .

Having produced the Charter the next steps will be to map peer support across Sussex providing a comprehensive picture of the types and availability of peer support. This should lead to greater awareness and choice and ultimately help inform future commissioning decisions.

The group of 13 organisations recognised the importance of protecting and promoting the principles of peer support as we understand them. Peer support should be rooted in and representative of the community, with a focus on interaction not intervention. 

Download The Peer Support Charter and Poster