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Results for 'peer support'

Results 1 - 10 of 20

Loneliness: how do you know your council is actively tacking loneliness?

LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
2018

Sets out a framework of interventions for tackling loneliness, which could be used to shape local areas delivery plans. There is a growing body of research showing that loneliness is a serious condition which can have a harmful effect on individuals’ physical and mental health, as well as bringing costs to public finance, particularly health and social care, and to the economy. The report argues that it is important that local areas define the nature of loneliness in their area, and who is at risk, through their JSNA, using local intelligence and national information such as that provided by the ONS and Age UK’s Loneliness heat map. The document identifies a number of services and approaches that provide the first steps in finding individuals who are experiencing loneliness and enabling them to gain support that meets their specific needs. These include: first contact schemes; door-knocking schemes, targeting people at risk; formal social care assessments; social prescribing in primary care; home from hospital or admissions avoidance schemes; information about activity to tackle loneliness available through settings such as supermarkets, one-stop-shops, pharmacies and GP surgeries. The report also considers direct interventions, which can help people maintain existing relationships and develop new ones, including: group activities such as men’s groups, lunch clubs, walking groups, book groups for people with mental health problems, choirs, and cooking groups for young parents; one-to-one approaches such as befriending schemes; psychological support, such as counselling or cognitive-behavioural therapy. Specific community approaches provide an enabling environment and include: establishing age-friendly, dementia-friendly and mental health-friendly communities; developing volunteering, including people who might not ordinarily volunteer; mobilising peer support, and intergenerational support in neighbourhoods. In addition, gateway services such as transport, technology, spatial planning and housing make it easier for communities to come together and help people build and maintain social connections.

Quantifying the benefits of peer support for people with dementia: a social return on investment (SROI) study

WILLIS Elizabeth, SEMPLE Amy C., de WAAL Hugo
2018

Objective: Peer support for people with dementia and carers is routinely advocated in national strategies and policy as a post-diagnostic intervention. However there is limited evidence to demonstrate the value these groups offer. This study looked at three dementia peer support groups in South London to evaluate what outcomes they produce and how much social value they create in relation to the cost of investment. Methods: A Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis was undertaken, which involves collecting data on the inputs, outputs and outcomes of an intervention, which are put into a formula, the end result being a SROI ratio showing how much social value is created per £1 of investment. Results: Findings showed the three groups created social value ranging from £1.17 to £5.18 for every pound (£) of investment, dependent on the design and structure of the group. Key outcomes for people with dementia were mental stimulation and a reduction in loneliness and isolation. Carers reported a reduction in stress and burden of care. Volunteers cited an increased knowledge of dementia. Conclusions: This study has shown that peer groups for people with dementia produce a social value greater than the cost of investment which provides encouraging evidence for those looking to commission, invest, set up or evaluate peer support groups for people with dementia and carers. Beyond the SROI ratio, this study has shown these groups create beneficial outcomes not only for the group members but also more widely for their carers and the group volunteers.

Volunteer peer support and befriending for carers of people living with dementia: an exploration of volunteers’ experiences

SMITH Raymond, et al
2018

With ageing populations and greater reliance on the voluntary sector, the number of volunteer‐led peer support and befriending services for carers of people with dementia in England is set to increase. However, little is known about the experiences of the volunteers who deliver these interventions, many of whom are former carers. Using in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with 10 volunteer peer supporters and befrienders, this exploratory study investigated volunteers’ experiences of delivering the support, the types of relationships they form with carers and their perceptions of its impact upon them and on carers. Data were analysed using framework analysis. Findings showed that volunteers benefitted from their role due to the ‘two‐way’ flow of support. Experiential similarity and having common interests with carers were considered important to the development of mutually beneficial relationships. Volunteers perceived that carers gained emotional and social support, which in turn improved the carers’ coping ability. Being able to see positive changes to carers’ lives was important for volunteers to gain enjoyment and satisfaction from their role. However, volunteers also identified challenges with their role, such as dealing with carers’ emotions. Future research should investigate ways of reducing potential burden on volunteers and explore the impact of volunteering specifically on former carers of people with dementia.

Pulling together

WORF Candy, GOODMAN Jolie, PLIMPTON Ben
2018

This practice handbook draws on the work of the Mental Health Foundation's Standing Together project, which facilitated 19 peer-support groups for older people living in extra care housing. The aim of the groups was to improve the emotional and social wellbeing of participants, and reduce loneliness and social isolation. The handbook pulls together learning from the project and provides inspiration to anyone wanting to set up a peer-support group with older people – whether they are tenants in housing schemes, staff or volunteers. It includes information on group activities used by the facilitators, including digital photography activities, memory boxes, collages and art sessions, and flower arranging workshops. It also provides advice on managing conflict between group members, information on how to support a community when a member dies, information for facilitators, and highlights the importance of listening to group members.

An evaluation of the Standing Together project

MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
2018

An evaluation of the Standing Together project, which examines the impact of peer-support groups on the emotional and social wellbeing of people living in extra care housing. Specifically, it looks at whether participation in the Standing Together programme had an effect on the outcomes of loneliness and social isolation; emotional wellbeing; and meaningful activity and community engagement. The groups ran once a week for six months in 19 extra care housing schemes within Housing & Care 21 and Notting Hill Housing Trust. Each group was led by two trained facilitators. Facilitators sought to include all residents from the extra care housing group including individuals with mental health difficulties, dementia, learning disability and/or significant loneliness. Focus group findings, which consisted of 45 residents at baseline and 57 at follow-up, demonstrated that most residents felt that participating in the groups led to positive impacts in all the outcome areas. Residents also expressed a desire for the groups to continue. Staff involved in the programme also felt that the groups led to reduced feelings of isolation and loneliness, increased companionship, mental stimulation and social inclusion. The process evaluation also emphasised the value in having two skilled tactful facilitators in each group who are able to effectively manage a group of residents, some of whom may have dementia or cognitive impairments. The report includes recommendations for conducting evaluations of group work in later life.

People powered recovery: social action and complex needs. Findings from a call for evidence

TURNING POINT
2018

The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on complex needs and dual diagnosis was established in 2007 in recognition of the fact that people seeking help often have a number of over-lapping needs including problems around access to housing, social care, unemployment services, mental health provision or substance misuse support. This report sets out the findings from a call for evidence on how social action can improve outcomes and develop more responsive services for people with complex needs or a dual diagnosis. Social action is about people coming together to tackle an issue, support others or improve their local area, by sharing their time and expertise through volunteering, peer-led groups and community projects. The report provides examples of how social action can support recovery, self-worth and confidence, boost employment prospects and skills, reduce stigma, better shape services to meet people’s needs, contribute to better health and wellbeing and save money. It also looks at how to overcome some of the challenges and barriers to developing social action focused around complex needs. These include resources, stigma, procedural issues, leadership, commissioning structures and demonstrating benefits.

Enabling change through communities of practice: Wellbeing Our Way

KOUSSA Natalie
2017

Summarises learning from a National Voices programme, Wellbeing Our Way, which aimed to explore how communities of practice could contribute to large-scale change across the health and care voluntary and community sector. The programme brought together people from charities, community organisations and people with experience of using health and care services to enable people to increase their knowledge and skills around a range of person- and community-centred approaches. The report provides an overview and learning from the national communities of practice and from two place-based communities of practice in Greater Manchester, which focused on peer support and self-management. Key learning for facilitating change through communities of practice identified includes: the importance of co-design; good facilitation; identifying specific expertise within the community of practice; having a clear area of focus of the community; having a clearly defined goal when looking to enable organisational change; and involving senior leaders to increase the chance of encouraging change. Individuals involved in the programme also explain how it has helped them initiate change in their practice and organisation. Results from the programme evaluation found that 79 per cent of participants were able to increase their knowledge and skills and 64 per cent were enabled, partly enabled, to create change in their organisation.

Introduction to the research on: what works to improve social networks and prevent social isolation for people with mental health problems

HARFLETT Naomi, JENNINGS Yasmin, LINSKY Kate
2017

This short scoping review identifies research into what works to improve the social networks and prevent social isolation for people with mental health problems. Searches for the review were conducted on organisational websites and a range of databases, including Social Care Online, for UK based research published from 2000. The review provides an overview of the quantity and quality of the research and a table summarising the 24 studies reviewed and their key findings. It also provides a summary of areas identified for future research. The review found that the evidence around effectiveness of interventions to prevent loneliness and social isolation is patchy and findings are inconsistent. However, there is evidence to show that staff can play a key role in facilitating social networks and that activity-based interventions - such as horticulture, sport and learning - can increase social networks and reduce social isolation. The review also found that befriending may be beneficial to peoples’ mental health, but that there is inconclusive evidence on the impact of peer support.

Mobilising communities: insights on community action for health and wellbeing

KERN Ruth, HOLMAN Annette
2017

Summarises key insights from the Mobilising Communities programme, which explored ways of implementing ‘social movements' in health that bring together people's strengths and capacity, community resources and publicly funded services to improve health and wellbeing in communities. The three sites participating in the programme were: the Bromley by Bow Centre and Health Partnership; Spice and Lancashire County Council; and Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group. The report briefly summarises the approaches taken by the three sites, which include social prescribing, Time Banking and peer support. The three elements identified as the most important in supporting communities to develop social movements in health were: helping people help themselves; creating opportunities for people to help one another, and creating value between the professional and social spheres. The report shows how each of the three elements can be developed to support a social movement in health for people and communities. Appendices provide flow diagrams to illustrate how each of the three sites implemented the approach. The programme was funded by the government’s Social Action team and delivered by Nesta Health Lab and the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT).

Peer support in accommodation based support services: a social return on investment

NEWTON Angela, WOMER Jessica, WHATMOUGH Suzy
2017

This evaluation assessed the peer support delivered across three accommodation services in Hampshire to understand the ways in which it impacted people’s lives and what they valued most about it. The services provided support for people experiencing mental distress, many of who had multiple complex needs. A total of 12 volunteers delivered peer support both on-to-one support and group peer support. A total of 22 people completed questionnaires for the evaluation, which included 12 services users (71 per cent of all service users who had used peer support), and 10 Peer Supporters (83 per cent of all Peer Supporters). Costs of providing peer support and the number of hours of direct support provided by peer supporters were also collected. From this, the return on investment in peer support was calculated using a methodology for measuring the equivalent worth of activity in social terms. The results found that the majority of peer supporters and service users who took part in the study had improved levels of confidence, felt more able to manage their mental health; had an improved social life and support network; felt more accepted; and felt more hopeful about the future. It also calculated that every pound spent on peer support provided a social return worth £4.94. The findings demonstrate that peer support is valued by those involved and helps support people to achieve their outcomes and lead more independent and fulfilling lives. The results of the study will also help communicate the value of peer support in financial terms to with commissioners and funders.

Results 1 - 10 of 20

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My Guide: new case example

My Guide: new case example My Guide is a sighted guiding service, started by The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (Guide Dogs), in which trained volunteers assist blind and partially sighted adults to get out and about, thus helping to prevent social isolation.
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