SIAA have been running virtual peer support sessions for members since the beginning of lockdown in 2020. The sessions originally started as a way for members to share the challenges of providing independent advocacy during Covid and morphed into becoming part of our regular offer to members. Sessions provide members a dedicated space to network with colleagues, share best practice and highlight independent advocacy priorities and trends. We’ve covered topics in like Families at risk, wellbeing at work, criminal justice, resilience and recruitment. We know that members have found the sessions incredibly beneficial, for example a manager shared the following about the Peer support for Managers sessions: “I’ve found the Managers Peer to Peer support sessions invaluable; it feels supportive and […] it really has helped build my confidence as well as relationships with peers. Thank you.”
We also know that members are busier than ever and fitting in a session every month is very difficult meaning we’ve seen a drop off in attendance at the sessions. To address this as well as other feedback from members looking for more topic specific discussions and support we are proposing changing the peer support sessions for the year 2022-23. We would like to launch peer support forums that are held with a particular type of independent advocacy or group independent advocacy is provided to, as the common thread. We would aim to hold two or three SIAA hosted sessions per year on each topic. We are also planning to keep peer support for mangers sessions but deliver them every second month instead of every month. We are really keen for member feedback on this change and on what topics/advocacy types would be most useful. We know there are already some forums out there so we’re keen to support existing networks in the best way possible. Please fill out the form to share your thoughts.