Greater Manchester IMHN has announced the 10 successful organisations to receive the ‘GM Peer Support Innovation Grant’, who have been chosen to receive up to £250 each to help grow their peer support groups. Below, we go through each of the successful organisations/projects to tell you what they offer and how they are planning to help bring innovative ways of peer support to their communities:
Bolton Miscarriage Peer Support Group:
Bolton Miscarriage Peer Support Group meet once a month on the last Tuesday of the month at The Hub Westhoughton. They aim to offer support for anyone who has experienced miscarriage (before 20 weeks) as well as their families. They provide tea and coffee as well as resources from charities and support organisations, such as Aching Arms bears and 4Louis memory boxes and information and support leaflets from Miscarriage Association. Their objectives are to relieve the feelings of loneliness, isolation and lack of support that many bereaved parents and their families face during and after a miscarriage.
Bridging Gap Mental Health is putting on a new peer support service: a peer support fitness programme called ‘Bridging Gap’s 8 week fitness and peer support programme’ which will take place in Hindley, Wigan (the gym is called Life Challenge). The fitness programme contains 2 fitness sessions a week, and an online peer support group where particpants can support each other and share what we have going on. All fitness classes have a trained personal trainer with lived experience of mental health and a trained peer support worker.
Girl Gang Manchester – F Word:
The F-Word is a peer support group (ran by Girl Gang Manchester) providing participants with a space where they can talk about their feelings, worries, and experiences around fertility and parenthood, and the ways in which the pressure and uncertainty around these topics effect the mental health and wellbeing of many women (inclusive of trans women, genderqueer women, cisgender women) and non-binary people. The monthly 90-minute sessions will be held online to make them as accessible and barrier-free as possible.
Holding Her Space:
Holding Her Space is a community based doula service supporting parents to be and new mothers through the prenatal, birth and postnatal stages covering the first 1000 days. As an organisation who work with women and families from communities experiencing racial inequalities, their project will be tailored to Women from Black and Asian ethnic groups, led by facilitators from these backgrounds. Their aim is to provide emotional, mental and educational support for women and families within the Manchester area to ensure they are provided with information to make informed choices, a listening ear, a support network of mums and ongoing additional support.
Hulme Writers and Savers:
Hulme Writers run a weekly creative writing peer support group. The members are supported by a local poet and former social worker who coordinates the sessions. The group acts both as therapy and as a social gathering reducing social isolation while also improving people’s wellbeing. Attending a fun, creative writing group means that people can benefit from these kinds of outcomes without feeling stigmatised. Hulme Writers also run an informal Christmas savings club but there’s no obligation to participate. They are now going to branch out and do some visits to other creative writing/creative arts peer support groups and to arrange some theatre trips.
The Tameside and Glossop Recovery Support Group is a peer support group for adults in recovery from eating disorders. It is based at Noah’s A.R.T., an animal-assisted wellbeing centre which provides a wide range of services centred around animal-assisted interventions. Group attendees will be able to relax with their therapy animals, take part in arts, crafts, games and more, and be able to give and receive support with peers. This group aims to be a safe, supportive, hopeful space for adults in recovery from eating disorders.
Once Upon A Smile:
Once Upon a Smile provide practical and emotional support to bereaved families to enable them to adjust to a new life without their loved one, prior to the pandemic they supported bereaved children at monthly group sessions to enable them to laugh, cry and celebrate their loved ones. Through interactions with other children group members learn that they are not alone in their grief. Their group sessions are very much user led, giving children and young people a choice/voice of what would support them through difficult times and during the year they provide them with a calendar of fun and activities.
Phoenix are a peer support group for women survivors of sexual violence. They meet on Zoom every other week and have a topic to discuss and each member gets a check in if they would like. Their objectives are to provide a safe and supportive environment for women (18+) in which they can share their thoughts, feelings and difficulties and find ways to live successfully after sexual abuse. They offer structured peer support with a topic as a prompt, which helps to focus on a particular aspect of abuse and gives people time between sessions to think about the topic and then a space to be heard and to hear other people’s experiences.
Talk About It Mate:
Talk About It Mate are planning to establish and deliver a Peer Support community for neurodivergent people that focuses on neurodiversity, including but not limited to Autism and ADD/ADHD. This will supplement their additional groups and provide a space where those who identify as neurodivergent can engage in supportive discussion within the existing Talk About It Mate group format.
Walthew House provides social support groups and activities at its centre in Stockport for people who have a sight and/or hearing loss. The groups run on Mondays and Tuesdays and act as a safe space for people to come and meet with others who also have a sensory loss in an accessible environment where they can also support one another. Refreshments are provided, and activities range from craft groups, hand bell ringing and exercise class to a lunch club, book club and steel band group.
If you have any questions/comments about the Peer Support Innovation Grant, please send your query to
Published on December 13, 2021 at 11:24 am