A day at #TheFutureIsPeer with Scottish Recovery Network


On the 28th February, Mind Waves were lucky enough to attend The Future is Peer, a full-day event organised by Scottish Recovery Network put on to showcase the positive impact of peer support in Scotland. In this post, we’ll be reflecting on the day, sharing some pictures from the event, and giving you some information about the upcoming online event The Future is Peer Live on Air!

Rundown of the day

Mind Waves arrived at the Studio Glasgow bright and early on the 28th February so we had plenty of time to check out the space, and we were not disappointed! Two floors of the conference building had been decked out with life-size puzzle pieces, signs . There was a table full of goodie bags for attendee, so after we snagged one of those, we decided to grab a coffee and a pastry and start looking around. There was plenty to do and see before the day kicked off for real, but we made sure to take the time to get a good seat in the main room so we had a great view for Louise Christie’s (Scottish Recovery Network’s Director) welcome talk.

After the welcome from Louise and some tunes from The Joyful Choir, we welcomed Mel Ball, the Director of Lived Experience at Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. Mel shared a fascinating slideshow and shared her learning around implementing a peer workforce.

Then it was time for the workshops! There were four workshops to choose from throughout the day, and all of the sessions were led by groups and organisations across Scotland. The four workshops were…

The awesome power of community-based peer support: This session was led by PawPalz, Held in Our Hearts, Woman’s Wellbeing Club and Bi-Polar Scotland. The groups shared their experiences and shone a light on the power of community-based peer support! (and this workshops had a dog present, which made it pretty unmissable in my opinion!)

What makes a successful peer support network? This workshop was led by Iain Savage, a Peer Recovery Development Worker for Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action, and focused on the different approaches that can be taken to establish an active, local Peer Support Network.

The positive impact of investing in peer pathways: This interactive session was led by Health in Mind, one of Scotland’s best known mental health charities. Their workshop was about their innovative approach to peer support: the peer pathway approach.

Working together – What peer support brings to primary care: This workshop was designed by Penumbra South Angus Peer Service, who operate out of GP surgeries. Penumbra works to improve people’s quality of life while they’re on their recovery journey.

After the first round of workshops, it was time for the most important part of the day! At 12:15 we heard from Maree Todd, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport. Maree spoke about the importance of peer support and why she believes that peer support and lived experience plays a vital role in developing mental health services. And then… she pressed the big red button to officially launch the Peer Recovery Hub! The Peer Recovery Hub is full of tools, ideas and learning from people who plan and deliver peer support activities. It’s an incredible resource and you can visit the Peer Recovery Hub by clicking here.

After lunch, we headed back into the main room for a whole group drum session led by Jeanette Allan from North Ayrshire Wellbeing and Recovery College. Make sure you check out the pics of the jam session, as it was great fun and definitely fought off the afternoon slump!IMG_6037.HEIC

Then it was time for the participants to pick another workshop to attend, it was great to have a chance to visit two workshops, but there was definitely some FOMO (fear of missing out) from Mind Waves, because we couldn’t go to all four workshops.

Finally, the day was brought to a close with some more words from Louise Christie. This session was interactive and aimed to identify what needs to happen to grow peer support in Scotland. Using Mentimeter, we were able to interact with polls and see the votes coming in in real time. On some issues – like the question what will enable peer support to grown in Scotland?  – there was a unanimous response – FUNDING!

Fun details!

Scottish Recovery Network made sure that there was never a dull moment at #TheFutureisPeer, so we thought that it would be a good idea to highlight all of the little details of the day that we thought were brilliant. And make sure to check out our gallery below for pics!

  • To kick off the event, attendees were serenaded by The Joyful Choir, who were wonderful, and even managed to get some audience members up on their feet to join in – which is almost a miracle at 10 o’clock in the morning!
  • There was a telephone exchange (check gallery for pics!), so there was a table with old school phones waiting to record ideas and feedback from people. What an innovative way to evaluate the day!
  • The Silent Cinema was a resounding success! The cinema area was complete with headphones, VIP ropes and a red carpet, and cute pink and white striped bags of popcorn. Attendees were invited to sit and watch a series of videos from contributors detailing the reasons why they love peer support. The popcorn especially was a big hit!
  • The food! Participants were definitely well fed throughout the day and there were snacks to suit every diet. There were pastries, hot drinks, delicious currys and salads, bread, and some delicious desserts and baked goods to finish off.

Final thoughts

We had the best time at this event; we made connections with peer support workers across Scotland, shared ideas and learned a LOT. The event felt celebratory and hopeful, and it was nice to focus on the positive aspects of peer support work, as well as give each other a well deserved pat on the back for all the work that’s being done. We also identified the challenges of the work, and discussed how to grow peer support in Scotland. Mind Waves left the event feeling hopeful for the future! We owe a big thank you to Scottish Recovery Net for organising the event and bringing everyone together. But that’s not all…

What next? #TheFutureIsPeer Live on Air!

On the Wednesday 20th March, Scottish Recovery Network are hosting an online version of #TheFutureIsPeer ! The in person event was so popular, it sold out in 24 hours, so this event is for anyone that didn’t manage to secure a ticket for the day. The online event will showcase learning from the in-person event and will be hosted by Viv Gee.  Click here to secure your spot for #TheFutureIsPeer Live on Air!

Click here to check out our gallery of pictures from #TheFutureIsPeer event! Thanks for reading 🙂

, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply