for better mental health

Jigsaw II - Finding the Missing Pieces 

Jigsaw II is a peer-led research project exploring the needs of peer support and community-based groups which follows on our Jigsaw report in 2013. Our aim is to increase our understanding of the spectrum of peer support and community-based groups, and how they can be supported to flourish. To achieve this, we'll be reaching out to listen to the experiences and needs of groups, and explore the wider factors that impact them.

We are committed to; 

  • Reaching those who are marginalised by our society, focusing on people from BAME and/or LGBTQI+ community, young people (18-25), people living in deprivation, and gender specific groups.
  • Using this project as a way to give power to peer support and community-based groups, to advocate their value and give groups an opportunity to learn from each other.
  • Taking the views and experiences of those we speak to forward, to advocate the value and the needs of those we draw insights from.

Meet Our Peer Researchers 

Hi I’m Kate, I’m really excited to join the Jigsaw II team! I hope to help create an up to date picture of what peer support looks like, find new models that work and make sure everyone who needs them has access. I’m passionate about co-production- people who use services being at the heart of creating them. I’m currently Co-production Advisor at Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) and before that The Social Care Institute for Excellence. I came up working for user-led disability organisations in equality, inclusion and policy roles and developed a peer support project at Disability Rights UK. I set up a Back to Work Project the Stroke Association and have personal experience of mental health services. I live in London with a hefty collection of vinyl records. New Orleans is my spiritual home and I DJ music from there spreading the unique spirit and culture of this magical place. 

Kate Pieroudis

Kate Pieroudis

Nichole McIntosh 

Hi, I’m Nichole. I am a dynamic youth work qualified, senior manager with 15 years programme and service management experience within criminal justice, in both the statutory and voluntary sector organisations, such as Croydon Youth Offending Service and more recently Safer London. A particular achievement being the setting up of the first MOPAC funded pan London service, providing intensive support to young people aged 16 -25 who are involved, affected, or exploited by gangs. I also have a total commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion, and as a mixed-race woman, I have been passionate about social justice and actively promoting anti-discriminatory practice and equal opportunities. I am also a strong advocate of raising awareness of mental health issues and challenging the stigma and discrimination that people are faced with, especially in the workplace. On a personal level I love everything to do with self – development, dancing, and a nice glass of merlot! 

Hi everyone, I am a 25 year-old, mixed-race, trans non-binary writer and researcher. I’ve recently completed an MA in Comparative Literature and Criticism. I like to read, facilitate conversations, and spend time outdoors. I’m committed to peer support as an important part of working towards queer decolonial futures. Previously, I worked as Consent Workshop Project Coordinator at SOAS. I have also been a support contact in Trust Teams, Awareness Teams and as Welfare Contact for various youth events, in community and university spaces.  

Sonja Shah (they/them)

Sonja Shah (they/them)

Madeleine Kelly

Hello, I’m Madeleine. I’m really excited to get started working on the Jigsaw project, mostly because I love talking to people, but also because I am interested in gathering and hearing other people’s opinions about peer support- something I feel strongly about. I think it is so important to quantify and understand just how much peer support uplifts and empowers people, especially due to ongoing cuts to so many non-crisis services, undervaluing and side-lining the expertise and support that those with lived experience can provide each other. I am really interested in how privilege and experiences of mental health intersect, and in how to create spaces in which people feel safe and heard, something that is often realised through peer support. I have a background in support work in a range of settings, working with sexual and domestic abuse survivors, street homeless people, and asylum seekers and refugees. I have recently completed a masters in psychology, and hope one day to complete a clinical psychology doctorate, but that’s a long way away currently!  


Hi, I’m Sonia. I’m a member of the Survivor Researcher Network and have been engaged in social research for over twenty years with a focus on marginalised communities. I have also been active in the community and voluntary sector for over twenty five years. I am currently running an online peer support programme for women in response to the disproportionate impact CoVid is having on the African-Caribbean and Asian communities in Leicester. I was also a researcher on the first Jigsaw report on peer support.  

Sonia Thompson

Sonia Thompson


How to get involved?

We'd like to hear from as many people as possible, so if you would like to get involved we'd love to hear from you. We are particular interested in talking to people from the BAME and/or LGBTQI+ communities, young people (18-25), people living in deprivation, and gender specific groups. You can take part in 1-to-1 interviews, focus groups or complete our survey. You can receive a voucher up to £25 if you're taking part in our interviews or groups.

More information will be posted about how to get involved throughout the project. If you would like to know more, please get in touch - [email protected]

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