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Shaftesbury Peer Support Group

Welcome

NEWS

Quite a lot has happened since I wrote what was here before. The Group managed to meet outside several times in the summer outside at Barton Hill Recreation Ground and I think those that came enjoyed it. I managed to book Shaftesbury Town Hall, for the same charge as we pay the British Legion, after that to hold socially distanced, Covid safe groups but unfortunately after the first one there the situation with coronavirus went downhill and I did not feel safe holding it even before the official lockdown.

Zoom Groups started on 5th November and although there are a few issues to sort out enough people joined to make it a worthwhile thing to do and I am looking forward to improving it as it is something to get used to and approach differently to face-to-face groups.

I was awarded £600 from round 5 of the Dorset Community Impact Fund (Coronavirus Support) to
be used for the website and Group for which I am very grateful. I had to buy insurance from this and
pay for Zoom for a year as well as the ongoing website costs for maintenance and changes and so the money is now largely spent. Thanks to HOPE for providing a reference and looking after the funds for me.

I will need more funds and so need to make the Group and Website ‘official’ in order to apply for grants. For this reason I have, along with a future Treasurer and Secretary got together a
Constitution and we will get a dedicated bank account. Members of the organisation will be those
who have filled in a Group registration form and those that request update emails from the website. Hopefully this will all be sorted out very soon.

Please remember to look at the website News page for details of when and where the Peer Support Group is meeting.

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FAQ

Peer support happens when people who have similar experiences of something difficult such as mental health problems come together to support each other.  Crucially, the people involved play an active role in creating a safe environment for each other.  In this space, people can use their shared experiences to give and receive support from each other.  Peers make choices about what parts of their personal experiences they talk about, seek support for, and use to support other people.

To find out more about what peer support is, download this info sheet.

At the Royal British Legion Hall there will be a theme or activity of some sort and we often have guest ‘speakers’.  Themes have included music and mental health, The Arts, aromatherapy, Christmas, mindfulness, the natural world, relaxation (some comical tips), A-Z of self-care and we have had speakers from the Recovery Education Centre, Wiseability, a Mindfulness group leader, Dorset Mind among others and a pharmacist has been lined up for when we are able to meet again.

There is always plenty of time for general chat as well and we have a break for refreshments.  Our Group at the Grosvenor is purely a social get-together.

Yes, absolutely.  Just turn up or if you prefer text/phone me on 07749062 327 or email.

Yes, that is fine.  They will need to sign the Group agreement about confidentiality etc. as well as you and if coming more than once fill in a registration form too.

Anything!  From a bit stressed, depressed or anxious to more serious conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.  You do not have to disclose a diagnosis if you don’t want to.

Any age.  Currently our youngest is 19 and the oldest in their 70s.

Yes, it is a ‘drop in’ although sometimes we may be mid-way through something so please come in quietly and take a seat until I have time to say hello and make introductions.  Please help yourself to refreshments.

Don’t worry.  The first session is free.  After that please donate what you can afford.  The hall hire needs to be paid for along with refreshments and other incidentals like printing flyers but we have a reserve fund to draw on.  Donations are made anonymously into a box.

Yes we have a Group Agreement, please click on the link below.  The two primary ‘rules’ are Confidentiality  and Respect.  I will provide you with this at your first visit.  Please click on the link to see more about our group in this document.

Download the rules and guidlines here.

At your first visit I will provide you with a registration form.  This is quite short and is basically contact details.  You may complete it that day or bring it to your second attendance.

Download the registration form here.

Yes, by all means.  Come along and see if it works for you/the person you care for. 

Yes, absolutely.  Please contact me by text or email for this to be arranged.

Hi, my name is Amanda.  I am NOT a qualified counsellor or therapist.

I am a peer in that I have a diagnosis of depression and anxiety and have had difficulties for many years.  I set up the group in April 2018 upon realising how little support there was available after being discharged from the Community Mental Health Team or Steps to Wellbeing Service.  I don’t think anyone with any sort of mental illness is either unwell or completely well and so something else is needed.  In addition, extra support is helpful whilst you are a patient, especially if this has been for a long time.

I have always had an interest in psychology and mental health and I have done many, many courses which you can see on the attached document!

I am also a volunteer Health Champion at Abbey View Medical Centre in Shaftesbury.

To find our more about my background, you can download this document.

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