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Local Projects
Chester-le-Street

Find out about what we're doing in our local town of Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

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Peer Support Groups

Paying forward our resources, knowledge and experience is a core part of what we do here at Peer Hub CIC. In our local town of Chester-le-Street, we're supporting partnership organisations to establish peer support groups, as well as supporting people to set up the groups and community support they aspire to provide from their own lived experience. By sharing our knowledge and experience in peer support, we hope to help create places in our community where people can receive support that isn't just there for when people are struggling the most.

Support Group

Group Facilitation Training

Our three day peer support group facilitation training is offered on a 'pay what you can' basis to members of our communities, both in Chester-le-Street and our online community for lived experience workers. We draw from our profit making work to provide these trainings and, when we have the funds to do so, support people to set up groups in Chester-le-Street and online.

People from Chester-le-Street who would prefer online support (instead of in person) are welcome to join our online community to help establish online groups if they wish.

Help for peer support group start ups

Starting a peer support group can feel exciting and intimidating for first-time facilitators, but the good news is, people fo it all the time! There are many ways we can support you to start your group, including:

  • Pairing you with another facilitator until you get the hang of things.

  • Support with planning and running your first group.

  • Funding (when we can!) for group expenses.

  • Providing mentoring, debrief or 'supervision' (support from a more experienced peer support facilitator) to build your confidence and support you through teething problems.

  • Training in ways of approaching peer support groups.

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Our Aspiration: Alternatives to Crisis 

We're starting to build bridges that will enable us to work with partners in our local community in Chester-le-Street, County Durham to create alternative supports for people who are experiencing mental health, existential, spiritual or emotional crisis. Our approach will be based on peer-led, rights based community support, hosting places of safety and sanctuary, by building trusting relationships and working in collaboration with people who experience crises, their families, local businesses and community members.

Partnership Cafe

Friends at a Cafe

We hope to develop a cafe-style service for people in Chester-le-Street who have life difficulties, as part of our work to prevent mental health crises. We hope to work together to start a visioning group of people with lived experience, community partners, local charities, businesses and user-led groups/organisations.

We hope this process will lead to a local shared space for the people of Chester-le-Street to be able to come together socially and also find community supports that tackle the real problems faced by our community today. A partnership cafe will also eventually provide access into our crisis alternatives for those acutely struggling with their mental health.

Non-Medical Alternatives to Psychiatric Hospitalisation

We intend to open evidence-based alternatives to psychiatric hospitalisation, including options for support at home, overnight rest, short-stay peer respites and long-stay options such as Soteria Houses. We're looking for people to collaborate with us, to help us figure out which options, or combination of options, are best for our local community. The best advice on what will work will come from people with lived experience of psychiatric hospitalisation (or, indeed, avoiding psychiatric hospitalisation), carers or supporters of someone who is or has been hospitalised, lived experience consultants and allied professionals with a specialism in this area. We'd be interested in hearing from people to help us design this project. Contact us!

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Mental Health Advocacy and Human Rights

As part of our alternatives to crisis programme, we intend to develop advocacy and education services to support people to protect their rights during statutory service intervention, such as use of the Mental Health Act 1983. We'll be looking at advance directives, alternative places of safety for s.136 MHA (police intervention), options for mental health advocacy on detention in pscyhiatric hospital and protections for human rights/criminal actions in psychiatric systems.