Me Time Women’s Peer Support Group

Me Time Women’s Peer Support Group

Weekly peer support group for local women at Longsight Surestart Centre.

Aim

To build a sustainable peer support project for women in Longsight.

The group covers topics such as self-care and mental health. The women attend to socialise and learn from others with similar lived experiences.

Location

Longsight

Benefits of social activities

Connecting with others is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing, five evidence-based actions which can improve personal wellbeing. Social connectedness has a strong positive impact on both physical and mental health. Increased social connectedness is linked to reduced mortality risk, healthier lifestyles and higher cognitive functioning. Socially well-connected people are more resilient, feel more able to take charge of their lives and less stressed. Older adults that are socially connected experience increased life satisfaction.

Benefits of Peer support groups

“peer support” refers to a process through which people who share common experiences or face similar challenges come together as equals to give and receive help based on the knowledge that comes through shared experience. Peer support groups aim to improve the well-being of attendees by providing increased social connections with their peers. Fostering relationships among people can help prevent significant mental health problems such as major depression and debilitating anxiety or help to cope with long term illnesses such as dementia. Peer Support groups offer a reassuring, confidential and safe place to talk to others about how problems or situations affect their lives

Identifying funding for local projects

Identifying funding empowers communities to deliver the solutions they have designed. Research has shown that staff who can offer mediation, guidance and support in the funding application and project process are as important to community groups as receiving the funding itself. Staff who have a good knowledge of the area and who needs support, enable funding to be accessed by more marginalised people and groups. Funding sometimes needs to come from multiple sources and Neighbourhood Health Workers save time being able to quickly identify multiple potential sources.

Testimonies

“I would like to mention that when I attended your course, I felt it gave me inspiration to regain my confidence as a person. Having been at home for a while as a home maker and a mother to three young children, I had not only lost my confidence, but my inner enthusiasm and self-recognition. After attending the course, I felt it wasn’t just me who felt this way, but there were other ladies who were in similar situations and felt the same way.

Particularly coming from an Asian background, I don’t think women are encouraged enough by their families to go and find themselves or to accomplish any goals which are personal to them. However this course was very empowering and full of positivity. In future I think these courses should be held to help and support individuals in order to reidentify themselves and prosper within the wider community.”

“I come here for many classes, but when I met with the teacher Razia, I thought she was exceptional. Her expression and way of talking is very impressive. I like the teaching process.”

“Nico, you’ve been such a big help. Thank you for all your support.”


Evaluation

This group is a strong example of partnership working, resident-led ideas, and sustainable funding. The attendance has been high and consistent, with positive feedback illustrating the impact of having a supportive space.

During COVID-19, the group continued on a weekly basis, adhering to restrictions on numbers (6-10 attendees on average). Once restrictions were lifted, the group has seen an attendance of 10-20 each time.

The women have increased confidence and sense of assertiveness as a result of attending this group.

As a result of buzz’s support, the group has been successful in their application to the Manchester Wellbeing Fund. Nico has provided guidance on how to approach a written application and creating a poster. The group are now successfully running a Henna Project which is facilitating wellbeing conversations.

WETA CIC was identified to help support the group and hold funds. They will be applying for a second pot of funding as the group is oversubscribed and wanting to grow to a larger scale across Manchester.

Project Team

buzz Manchester Health & Wellbeing Service

WETA CIC

Longsight Surestart Centre

Residents

Strategic links to local/national policies (social activities)

Benefit

Policy

Social inclusion

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Enabling resilient communities

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Helping people live healthier lives

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

The Manchester Locality Plan – A Healthier Manchester

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Manchester Prevention Programme

Research/evidence base

Global Council on Brain Health (2017) - The Brain and Social Connectedness

Ministry of Social Development (2018) - The measurement of social connectedness and its relationship to wellbeing

New Economics Foundation (2008) – Five ways to wellbeing

Oliver Huxhold, Martina Miche, Benjamin Schüz. (2014) Benefits of Having Friends in Older Ages: Differential Effects of Informal Social Activities on Well-Being in Middle-Aged and Older Adults, The Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Volume 69, Issue 3, Pages 366–375.

Umberson, D. & Montez, J. K. (2010) Social Relationships and Health: A Flashpoint for Health Policy. Journal of Health and Social Behavior. 51(S) S54–S66.

Strategic links to local/national policies (Peer support groups)

Benefit

Policy

Increased mental wellbeing

Manchester Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Greater Manchester Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy

Increased social connections

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Shared knowledge & experiences

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester’s Self-Care Strategy

Help with problems/disabilities

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Taking Charge of our Health and Social Care in Greater Manchester (GMCA, 2015)

Manchester Prevention Programme

Lessen isolation and loneliness

Manchester Population Health Plan

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health,2014)

Greater Manchester Age Friendly Strategy

Research/evidence base

Barak, A. (2008) Fostering empowerment in online support groups. Computers in Human Behavior, 24, 1867–83

DeLisle, V.C. (2016) Effect of support group peer facilitator training programmes on peer facilitator and support group member outcomes: a systematic review. BMJ Open. Nov 17;6(11):e013325.

Chung JE. (2013) Social Networking in Online Support Groups for Health: How Online Social Networking Benefits Patients. Journal of Health Communication, 0:1–21.
Turner KA. (2019) Effects of training and support programs for leaders of illness-based support groups: commentary and updated evidence. Systematic Reviews, Mar 5;8(1):67

Strategic links to local/national policies (Local projects)

Benefit

Policy

Empowerment

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

Our Manchester Strategy

Communities engaged in the design and delivery of local services

Healthy Lives, Healthy People (MH Government, 2010)

The Manchester Prevention Programme

Addressing inequalities

Fair Society, Healthy Lives (Institute of Health Equity, 2010)

NHS Five Year Forward View (Department of Health, 2014)

Research/evidence base

Ambition for Ageing (2020) - Changing a place: Microfunding, co-production and community development

Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis - Sourcing Financial Resources for Community Development Initiatives

National Lottery Community Fund (2019) - Understanding Thriving Communities

Young Foundation (2013) - Improving small scale grant funding for local voluntary and community organisations

Contact

Chris Doyle - Neighbourhood Health Worker

Chris.doyle@gmmh.nhs.uk


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