In 2018 our Peer Support Volunteers group won the Volunteer of the Year Award (Group) at the Be Proud Awards in Manchester – and we couldn’t have been prouder.
Peer Support in the form of the Get Help, Give Help groups have been a relatively recent addition to our services. The aim was to provide a bridge from services to community. In a relatively short space of time they have shown the incredible value in people with lived experience of mental health issues supporting each other. The groups have been co-produced, sharing their skills and experiences to create warm, friendly, safe spaces where people can share not only difficulties but successes, strategies for staying well and additional support for people when they are struggling. The groups have brought so much to the charity – showing us the power of working together and volunteers giving their time willingly to help not just individuals but the charity as a whole. Manchester Mind is now leading on the development of a hub across Greater Manchester enabling groups from a wide range of Peer Support to come together and share experiences further.
This award is a great achievement, well deserved and was a reminder, not that we needed it, in the value of services being informed from the start by lived experience.