In October 2015, the Life Changes Trust invested a total of £545,000 in a number of Peer Support Projects over a period of five years.
People with dementia and carers place high value on peer support, whether on a group or one-to-one basis; there is no-one better to talk to than someone who has walked the same path. The peer support projects we fund are varied and explore new ways in which to provide peer support (for example through cooking together) as well as providing support to people facing a specific type of caring (for example carers of people with learning disabilities who have now developed dementia).
Befriending and peer support are two of the services which people with dementia and carers say they most value because of the positive impact they have on the person with dementia and/or their carer.
They have been identified through research as key ways in which isolation and loneliness can be reduced, factors which can have a significantly negative impact on a person’s sense of well-being and their physical and mental health.
In providing this funding, the Trust aims to:
- improve the quality of life and well-being of those whose lives are affected by dementia
- support more rapid and effective development of peer support initiatives and practices across Scotland
- share findings and learning from peer support initiatives funded by the Trust in order to improve practice across Scotland and so that others can learn from Scotland
- support the development of positive relationships, mentoring and learning between peer support initiatives in Scotland
- identify ways of establishing long term peer support initiatives that are innovative, sustainable and cost-effective
The Trust was looking to fund peer support projects that would contribute to the following outcomes for people living with dementia and carers:
- I know that I have someone who will listen to me and who understands my situation
- I know that I have support to face the challenges in my life
- I have an increased sense of well-being
- feel safe, valued and respected
- I have more confidence to make choices and do the things that matter to me
- I can give examples of how peer support has made a difference to my life
Read the first year's report: