More examples of best practice peer support work

August 2020

Birmingham and Solihull Liaison and Diversion (L&D) team have commissioned 12 podcast episodes all about the work of their service. Their podcast, ‘Changing Minds, Changing Lives: the Liaison & Diversion diaries’ will be released every month. The plan is to cover a range of issues and topics relating to L&D, such as custody, court, outreach and the value of lived experience. In the recently released first episode, a group of L&D practitioners discuss what life is like working under the recent restrictions. The team also speculate about whether any of the changes made may also be integrated into standard L&D practices in the future.

Health Education England have commissioned two L&D peer support workers to produce a series of podcasts on the topic of peer support work within the criminal justice system and 3rd sector settings. The aim of these will be to help inform and train other services about the critical components involved in implementing peer support within a service. The podcasts will include contributions from a range of stakeholders and will take the audience on a journey, starting with their own reasons and inspiration for a become a peer worker through to their current-day successful substantive employment within the criminal justice pathway. This series is due for publication shortly.

It is always welcoming to receive positive feedback around the contributions that peer workers make. The following feedback was received by the Avon & Somerset L&D service. These demonstrate how impactful peer workers are, not only for the vulnerable individuals they work with but also their families.

“The support I received today was extremely helpful and definitely needed, there was no chance I could’ve done it alone. Nick was supportive and made me feel at ease, top bloke and thank you all for your support, really and truly grateful.”

“During my time in the court system, I found the service very helpful and supportive. [They] replied to my emails very quickly and were very understanding. The staff were very laid back and, on my level, which helped my with anxiety. The service was very helpful and me and my family think very highly of them and would not know what we would’ve done without them!”

“I found you very supportive for my son on the day of the court cases and before showing [him] around the court, even though [he] was still very anxious on the days, he found it much easier with you being there and I would like to say thank you very much.”

Finally, congratulations to Tony and Sean, two Staffordshire L&D peer workers, who have secured substantive support worker posts in within L&D. The Staffordshire L&D team are now recruiting 2 new peer workers.

If you have any queries about peer work in L&D please contact