Lambeth’s new Peer Support Network

 I was born in Surrey but grew up mostly around the Lambeth area as I went to High school near Streatham. I currently still live in Surrey and in my spare time I enjoy sight seeing in the hills near where I live and go shopping and out to eat at local village restaurants.

I started working for Certitude as an apprentice in health and social care in 2010 and then after completing my course was offered a permanent contract as a support worker in one of our mental health supported housing services in 2011.

I have worked with many people suffering from a range of mental health diagnoses, such as paranoid schizophrenia, depression, bi-polar, personality disorders and some people who have a dual diagnosis. This was challenging at first as I had never worked or been involved with anything around mental health personally. But as time passed I became more experienced and it became easier to understand the people I was supporting and how best to support them. Working with a person-centred approach made things more rewarding as I was sure that the people I was supporting were getting the quality support that they required. During that time I worked on a couple of projects alongside Skills for Care. I had my case study published just over two years ago, which is about my journey through health and social care and also about my goals and aspirations for my career in the future.

 Experience of unemployment

I was also featured in the Mirror, Evening Standard and a couple of local newspapers about getting young people back into work. The job market was tight and not a lot of young people knew about jobs available within the care sector. We wanted to promote jobs that young people may be interested in but didn’t know where to apply for them. As a young person who was out of work and stuck at the job centre for over a year trying to look for work, I had some experience with this. I knew how it felt to be stuck and not knowing what path to take, whether to go back to studying or work. But I was given the best opportunity to do both and it changed my outlook on my options for my future career. Getting onto a health and social care apprentice course helped me to find the job I now love and enjoy doing.

 For my new role I will be running the Peer Support Hub, which includes use of the rooms, advertising and promoting our peer support services, as well as other outside services within Lambeth. I also will be working closely on the online aspect of peer support as well as working with the employment, training and education officers to ensure that people who access and also offer peer support are further supported in pursuing their goals further afield. I will be having some events going in the future at the hub for people to attend who use the services, focusing on running workshops and training. Some of the training will be offered directly by the hub but a lot of training will also be delivered at the hub by external partners. I have been visiting other peer support services to show our support and keep good networks within peer support in Lambeth. We aim to make the hub a central point for peer support, making it vibrant, informative, and accessible as well as it being a place to learn. We are currently working on mapping all the peer support initiatives in Lambeth, encouraging use of the hub for peer support related activities as well as offering support for the growth and sustainability of peer support in the borough and beyond. I will be sending out updates of events and workshops that will be happening at our Hub and also if any service from Lambeth would like to use the rooms for any type of peer support they are available to be booked via myself.

Contact: Stephanie Karimi at the PEER SUPPORT HUB / FANON CENTRE

Direct tel: 0207-737-2888, Mob: 07710-389-679

Email the Peer Network :

The Lambeth Peer Support Network has held a number of events so far. Recently it heard about a new report Integrating vocational & peer support: an exploration – VIP. There have also been a social inclusion workshop and  a peer support recruitment drive, as well as a session  on digital inclusion. The network events are open to everyone, professionals and non professionals who have an interest in receiving or offering peer support.

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