Peer Support Networks
In disability, we all instinctively know the benefits of peer support. We look to our peers for great ideas, the best advice and a safe place to vent. Unsurprisingly research backs up these benefits. People with disability and families that have good peer support networks have been shown to be happier, more resilient and better informed. This is why the Peer Connect project lead by JFA Purple Orange is so important.
The organisations participating in the Peer Connect project are all peer support experts. The project provides the resources for them to develop and strengthen peer support groups of people living with disability and their families. The peer groups meet with each other in person or online to:
- talk about common interests
- support each other
- share information about the NDIS
- help each other with planning, and
- develop capacity to achieve their goals.
They are also a great opportunity for people to make new connections in the community.
The value of peer support has been recognised by the NDIS Sector Development Fund, which has given some money to 18 grassroots disability groups, called Disability Support Organisations (DSOs), to run Peer Support Networks.
Whether chatting in person or online, Peer Support Networks are already having a positive impact on people’s lives.
As Jenny from Speak Out Tasmania, one of the DSOs, explains, “The Peer Support Networks have helped develop powerful leadership potential for people living with intellectual disability. We supported a co-facilitator on their first trip outside Tasmania to the launch of the Women with Disabilities Australia Youth Network. Another group shot video clips about the impact of the NDIS in their lives to share their experiences with others.”
For more information about Peer Support Networks check out the website at www.peerconnect.org.au
JFA Purple Orange is the National Support Agency for this initiative. You can find out more about JFA Purple Orange and the work they do at www.purpleorange.org.au or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jfapurpleorange
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