Principled Ways of Working: Peer Support in Sussex

Alison Faulkner

In 2017 Sussex Partnership Foundation NHS Trust hosted the “Principled Ways of Working” (PWoW) Conference in Portslade. Following on from this, a working group was established aiming to carry forward the learning from the event. The partnership formed subsequently to establish a Charter around principles of peer support and involved 13 groups and organisations across Sussex, both statutory and VCSE organisations, small and large, with the aim of getting more to sign up over time. In 2018 the Principled Ways of Working Peer Support Charter was produced. This has been used widely both locally and nationally.

Following the publication of this charter the group temporarily disbanded due to a lack of resources. Following the award of further funding, the PWoW group reconvened in late 2019 and agreed that its next priority would be to identify the full range of peer support available across Sussex, with a view to creating a directory outlining the choices available for someone with mental health issues who is looking for peer support: they continue to meet and work together.

This report is the result of a reflective exercise undertaken by the PWoW partners with NSUN, in order to enable them to review their work together and discuss their achievements, the benefits and the challenges of their work on film. Some of the funding for the partnership accessed during 2019/2020 came from National Mind via NSUN, both of whom were interested in making the learning from the partnership more widely available, as the model can be replicated in local areas across the country.

reflective blog piece by Anne Beales and a short film, where partners talk about the work to camera (edited by Flexible Films), accompany this report.