Resources needed for carrying out peer support
This page covers the resources you need to run your peer support group. These include funding, a venue, refreshments, shared skills or time, and access to equipment or training. You'll find hints and tips from existing groups, as well as questions and activities to help you and your members think it through as a group.
What resources do you need?
The first step is to decide together what resources you need, and what additional funding could help you with. If you decide to apply for funding, it will help to show that you’ve thought about how you would spend the money and how this would benefit your group. Funders need to know that the money is going to have a positive impact.
The following questions will help you think about what you need:
- What does your group need? Examples include: equipment, venue hire, refreshments, technology (for online meetings), art materials. You could make a list together.
- If you need money, how much do you need? Would funding be a contribution to this or would it need to cover the full amount? The more detail you can provide in terms of costs, the better.
- What do you need to ensure that your group keeps running in the longer term? Could funding contribute to this?
- What might happen if you don’t get the resources you need? If you decide to write an application or request for funding, you can mention this.
- How might funding benefit your group – directly and indirectly?
If setting up a new group, you may also need to consider:
- Where will the group take place? Is there a charge for the venue?
- Will the group do activities, such as crafts or cooking? Do you need any materials for that?
- Will the group need refreshments?
- Will you cover travel for group members, or will they need to arrange this themselves?
There may be ways to meet your group’s needs without applying for funding. One option is for members to contribute a small amount of money per meeting. You would need to think about whether everyone could afford this and what you will do if someone would like to join but cannot afford the contribution.
Similarly, if you need refreshments, you might arrange a rota for bringing drinks and biscuits to group meetings. Another option that does not involve money is to find a local community centre or faith organisation that would be willing to let you use a room for free.
Activity: What do we need?
Find a time to meet with your group and discuss whether you need funding. Try to reach a consensus on a few key things that would help the group and make it more sustainable.
You could give your members a survey to fill out with some of these options and a space to write comments. Then, if you did decide to pursue funding, you could use these surveys to demonstrate that your group members have expressed the need.
If you are looking to establish a new group, you could try using a questionnaire to find out what people want. This would demonstrate that your plan for the group reflects what people need and identify potential members. The survey could be sent out via local newsletters or forums, or on social media, then shared with funders as evidence if required.
Accessing community resources
If you choose not to seek funding, it may be that you can access many of the resources you need through forming connections with your local community.
Through building good relationships with local organisations and local businesses, you may be able to access a range of resources, like materials, venues or equipment. Here are some examples:
- Venues - local groups are sometimes offered the use of these free of charge. They might be libraries, garden centres, supermarkets, community centres, village halls, or faith buildings.
- Refreshments - supermarkets or cafes sometimes donate these to local groups.
- Publicity - local shops, cafes, hair salons, libraries, or community spaces might be willing to display a poster advertising your group, or stock leaflets or business cards that people can take away.
- Materials – if your group enjoy doing activities together, such as crafts, music, or exercise, resources for these might be donated by local shops or sports teams.
- Training – local community organisations or charities might be able to offer formal or informal training in first aid, safeguarding, using technology, or fundraising to leaders, facilitators, or members of your group.
- Community programmes – some localities have projects such as ‘time banks’, in which skills are shared on an informal basis, or mentoring schemes. These would enable your group leaders, facilitators, or members to learn new skills from other people in the local area.
- Support and mentoring – sometimes local organisations and charities are willing to offer this to group leaders or facilitators, to develop their leadership skills and help ensure the sustainability of the group.
- Technology – if your group or project needs a laptop, mobile phone, or software to facilitate video calls, for example, these could be donated by local business or tech companies. Some local councils also provide digital resources.