Peckham Befrienders

Our vision: Everything we do is to improve the lives of the people & communities that we serve & promote mental health and wellbeing for all

1. Introduction: Peckham Befrienders (hereafter referred to as PB) sits within the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. It is a service for Black & Minority Ethnic (hereafter referred to as BME) people (aged 18-65yrs) who are currently receiving care from SLaM. The policy is not a definite or exhaustive list therefore, it cannot cover every conceivable scenario however; it does sets out the guidelines on how PB should operate.

2. PB Mission statement: is friendship (and the social interaction it offers) are major elements of a person’s coping strategy; that aids recovery and builds resilience. PB’s socialisation model enhances the formal and informal social networks of our Service Users.

3. Aims and objectives: is to increase the social networks of our users. We do this by providing a space for Service Users and Befrienders (trained volunteers) to form friendships within a befriending framework and with clear boundaries. At PB we operate a group approach to befriending.

4. Eligibility Criteria: people must be aged 18 yrs (and above) and receiving care from SLaM and from a BME community

5. Our twice weekly drop-ins: provide a space were service users can access, culturally appropriate meals and other activities such as: complementary therapy Indian head massage, Reflexology, talks and presentations on a host of subjects (e.g. how to look after your Heart, Diabetes, the importance of exercise, controlling stress, Glaucoma and the importance of eye health. The regular contact we have with our service users, allows us to observe and report any sudden changes in behaviour and/or character which maybe an indication that an individual is either in crisis or heading towards a crisis/relapse. The drop-ins also provide safe space for support and befriending.

6. Befrienders: are trained volunteers (from the BME community) who support services users within a group setting. Research has shown that one avenue for addressing the social consequences of mental illnesses is increased social networks and befriending.

7. PB team: are from BME communities, which reflect our services users. This means the team has an understanding (and knowledge) of the complex cultural issues that are associated coming form with BME communities. The team consist of a manager, one project Worker, one Session worker, Session Therapists (Masseur/ Reflexologist) and a dedicated group of volunteers.

8. Supporting our volunteers: PB cannot operate without the input of volunteers. If volunteers fail to show up for a shift the BME Volunteer Coordinator Volunteers should be alerted as soon as possible.