Wolverhampton Peer Support Network
This collaboration between the local authority, secondary schools, the University of Wolverhampton and the voluntary sector was formed in 2010 with the aim of promoting and developing peer support activity among Wolverhampton’s young people, both inside and outside school.
The network was developed in response to an external evaluation of the city’s previous peer programme, Young People at the Centre. The report stressed the need to capitalise and build on the momentum generated by this programme. Since then, the organisation has occupied an increasingly prominent position within the city’s schools, youth groups and community projects.
It has initiated and supported more than 30 new peer support schemes and trained more than 600 young people as peer mentors or peer supporters. A key component of the scheme is the ASDAN-accredited training, which includes follow-up sessions as their scheme progresses and free resources.
STEPPS (Schools Training and Education programme for Primary Peer Supporters) is available for primary schools and voluntary and community groups with primary school age children. It is being delivered in partnership with the children’s charity Believe to Achieve and includes two days of training for up to 15 peer supporters.
CHAMPS (Challenging, Helping and Mentoring through Peer Support) is available for groups working with young people above primary school age. Like STEPPS, the programme includes a two-day ASDAN accredited training course, along with follow-up activities, equipment for the young people and a scheme evaluation. The network hopes to build on its last celebration event, where awards were presented to outstanding peer supporters.