Peer Advisor Programme

Where - in prisons and in the community

London Peer Hub

Funded by the Big Lottery and launched in August 2016, the London Peer Hub trains adults with lived experience to become qualified professionals known as Peer Advisors (see below) and have the opportunity to gain a Level 3 Certificate in Advice and Guidance. In addition to the qualification, Peer Advisors also gain practical experience through a voluntary placement with one of our teams or an external partner in South London delivering advice and guidance to service users. We will also be offering ongoing support from a dedicated Support Worker, professional training, tailored employment support and access to employment opportunities.

We believe that Peer Advisors bring a unique mix of professional skills and first-hand experience which adds value to the services they work with. The London Peer Hub aims to increase the skills and employment prospects of our Peer Advisors, whilst also enhancing the services provided within external organisations delivering advice and guidance services within South London.

To be eligible to train as a Peer Advisors you need to be:
• Either already in a voluntary placement within South London delivering advice and guidance or be willing to commit to volunteering in an organisation delivering advice and guidance;
• Passionate about supporting others to overcome barriers;
• Willing to commit to work towards gaining a Level 3 Certificate in Advice and Guidance;
• Interested in accessing employability support and/or progressing towards paid employment.

To apply to be a Peer Advisor please contact the London Peer Hub for an application form on 020 7708 8020 or Alternatively, download the application form here

In addition, we are also looking for organisations willing to host a Peer Advisor in placement. If you are interested in finding out more about this please contact the London Peer Hub for more information on 020 7708 8020 or Alternatively, download more information here

Thanks to Big Lottery Fund support, similar services are on offer through our Peer Advisor Centre in Leeds and our Working Out projects in Ipswich and Cardiff.

Peer Advisor Programme

Training people with experience of the issues facing our clients to offer professional, highly credible services is at the heart of our approach. Our Peer Advisor Programme is provided through all our teams at St Giles Trust. It offers ex-offenders and other disadvantaged people the opportunity to become professionally trained and progress into employment, whilst also supporting others to move their lives forward. It provides training towards the Level 3 Advice and Guidance qualification. By using this mix of first-hand insights coupled with specialist training, we are able to provide a service which reaches some of the most disadvantaged, needy people often not engaged in or excluded from other services.

As well as the Level 3 qualification the programme offers:

  • on the job training,
  • regular monitoring and supervision,
  • professional training in a range of areas,
  • a one-to-one session with a specialist in disclosure,
  • involvement in our Peer Advisor User Group,
  • access to employment opportunities and support to move into paid employment

Our Peer Advisor Programme underpins all of our work and is at the heart of how we deliver services. Many of the people we train on it support our services through volunteering and some progress to become caseworkers once they are fully qualified. After a lengthy sentence, Angelina trained as a Peer Advisor and initially worked as a volunteer caseworker at St Giles Trust. She has now progressed to become a Drugs and Alcohol Support Worker at a charity. Here is what she says about her experiences:

“I did the Level 3 through the Peer Advisor Programme and it gave me the stepping stone I needed to move forward and gain direction in my life. I know I’ve done well but I’ve come out of prison and it’s been just go. It’s still early days but I definitely feel like I’m part of society. I get up and go to work.”

Find out more about our Peer Advisor Programme by watching The Hard Cell – a short film about peer advice. This award-winning animation was made in 2009 and the programme has developed since it was made. We have now diversified the model to include working in the fields of homelessness and disadvantaged young people given its success in the criminal justice sector.