New guidance on peer volunteers

In Dame Carol Black’s influential Review of Drugs, she made a strong recommendation that treatment services should include people with lived experience of drug dependence working as recovery champions and recovery coaches. But she also warned that peer supporters should not be left to do the work of professionals without appropriate training, pay or support – an approach she described as exploitative.

A new guide co-produced under the leadership of Russell Webster in partnership with Revolving Doors sets out best practice in supporting peer volunteers derived from and informed by the lived experience of more than 250 peer volunteers. The guide covers a range of topics including training, support and helping people convert their volunteering experience into paid employment.

The guide can be downloaded here and you can also see a range of video interviews from commissioners, providers and people with lived experience on the accompanying website:

Read more in the forthcoming feature in April’s issue of DDN

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