We wanted to make it a celebration of peer support, of all the hard work that goes on in small groups all over the country, the innovation and good will that people make to one another ... to be a stepping stone to further work on how we can all espouse the qualities of peer support.
Tina Coldham, Peerfest MC
Peerfest 2013 was hosted by Mind in partnership with nine other organisations whom we are working with to ensure peer support is available to everyone in England and Wales.
About 150 people came to our big celebration of peer support, to showcase their projects and activities, to make new connections, and to discuss the key issues in peer support.
82 per cent of those who came were inspired to take action – either to set up a new project or approach funders or organisations to help.
Peerfest was hosted by the charismatic Tina Coldham and Stephanie de la Haye, well known to the mental health survivor movement.
It featured music from iChoir and guitarist Karl Merrick, and poetry from Laura May. There was a presentation of the report from researchers Alison Faulkner and Andrew Hughes, an expert panel, and, at open space zones, people debated topics on influencing funders, starting up projects, good practice top tips, and digital peer support.