A few weeks ago, I started working at National Voices—the umbrella body bringing together health and care charities large and small in England. One of the first milestones that was achieved soon after my arrival (and I can therefore not claim any part of its success), is the launch of our Peer Support Hub—which brings together good quality evidence about how you can grow, sustain, measure, or evaluate peer support. It was developed and designed with a community of practitioners and voluntary sector organisations who work in this space, responding to what they said they need to have more impact.
Maybe in a previous life I would have thought that this is worthy, but a bit marginal. Doesn’t the voluntary and community sector have bigger fish to fry in trying to transform how people, often with long term conditions or ongoing difficulties, experience the care they are offered by the NHS? But in a previous life I hadn’t lost my husband David to cancer, I wasn’t trying to support two bereaved children, and I didn’t have to figure out how to do this thing now—living with grief and loss.