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About Side by Side

In September 2014, the Big Lottery Fund awarded Mind £3.2 million to improve access to peer support across England. With this grant, we’re running a two-year programme called Side by Side.

We aim to:

  • build an evidence base for the effectiveness of one to one, group and online peer support
  • promote the value of peer support to people with experience of mental health problems, service providers and commissioners.

Our Side by Side programme aims to improve the lives of people experiencing mental health problems across England through access to peer support.

How will we do it?

Mind, Bipolar UK and our grant-funded projects are working in collaboration, with support from the Big Lottery Fund.  

We awarded 37 grants to local peer support projects across nine pilot areas. Each project will support people with mental health problems, as well as helping us to research the effectiveness of peer support. Together, we're working in the following areas:

  • Coventry
  • Devon
  • Lancashire
  • Leeds
  • London
  • Northampton
  • Southampton
  • Suffolk
  • Teesside


Peer support for all

We know that people from Black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds and people living in rural areas currently find it difficult to access peer support, so we're working with a range of groups to provide these communities with tailored support.

Find peer support in your local area.


Get the latest updates

Email to receive updates about Side by Side and peer support.

It’s thanks to the hard work of individuals, groups and organisations that we gained this funding. Their hard work includes contributing to the scoping report, advising on the direction of work, participating in Peerfest and supporting the development of the bid.


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