Peer Forward is an exciting, new, three year Big Lottery funded project which has been developed by St Giles Trust. We utilise a peer-led approach to benefit local communities and enhance community services in Cardiff, Vale of Glamorgan and Gwent. Our project’s purpose is to train current/former service users, who have overcome significant disadvantages such as offending, mental health issues and substance misuse, to become Peer Advisors for clients receiving support from frontline services. Peer Forward promotes the benefits of having someone who has faced similar difficulties and lived experiences to work within a service to provide advice and support.
Training such individuals to confidently deliver professional, highly credible services to other service users is at the heart of our organisation’s approach. It offers disadvantaged people who are passionate about helping those in need, the chance to become professionally trained and progress into employment, whilst also supporting others to move their lives forward.
Peer Forward provides individuals with fantastic opportunities to become qualified professionals known as Peer Advisors. Participants have the chance to gain an accredited Level 3 NVQ in Information, Advice and Guidance while undertaking a voluntary placement in an advisory role. In addition, each individual undergoes a 12-module ‘Learning to Advise’ course, has access to other training courses in a number of areas, as well as receive continual, comprehensive one-to-one support and coaching to enhance professional development and achieve paid employment. Training in skills such as IT, literacy and numeracy are also offered.
We believe Peer Advisors bring a unique mix of specialised skills and first-hand experience which adds value to the services they work with. Our project aims to increase the skills and employment prospects of participants, whilst also enhancing advice and guidance services provided within external organisations that may benefit from professionally trained, supported ex-service users.
If you are an individual or organisation interested to get involved with this project, or simply find out more information, please contact us on 02920 496363 or e-mail our project leader Phoenix at [email protected].