An update on the ENSURE Project
The What, The How and The Why
ENSURE is a pilot to develop a model of peer support for people who can be excluded from mainstream society due to a variety of issues. In Kent, we are working with adults (18+) with autism spectrum conditions and adults (55+) for who self-neglect is a concern.
Throughout the pandemic, we have been working to keep the project moving forward and have made great progress.
During September – December 2020, we held a series of virtual workshops with professionals and people with lived experience to support the design of the pilot. The feedback we received has been invaluable in helping us understand the details of the how the pilot needs to work to be accessible and beneficial to the people involved.
We have also had the privilege of working with Dr Peter Vermuelen, internationally renowned founder and CEO of Autism in Context, to gain insight into his approaches and techniques in supporting adults with autism.
We continue to meet virtually with colleagues across Europe to work collaboratively on the pilot, learning from each other’s experience and working together to ensure that the finished product is a useful toolkit that will enable other organizations to implement a peer support approach for their clients.
Progress in Kent
We have been working with Advocacy for All and The Education People to write a training programme for the peer supporters. We used the training developed by our colleagues from De Mussen Community Centre in The Hague as a foundation, but based on feedback from people with lived experience, we have adapted it to be accessible to adults who are neuro-atypical.
We hope that this will be an example for other organisations about how the approach can be adapted and used with different groups of people.
We are also pleased to announce that, following an open application process, Advocacy for All and The Education People have been awarded an Innovation Grant to support the delivery of the ENSURE peer support pilot. Planning begins now…..
We hope to begin recruiting people to participate in the pilot from May 2021. Peer supporters will then receive training and be matched up with people who would like support from a peer in July 2021.
If you would like to find out more about the project please contact [email protected]
ENSURE is a cross-border project partnering 9 organisations from across the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands and is funded by the Interreg 2 Seas Programme (co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund).