We take a pro-social and strengths based approach to our relational work and our practice is underpinned by our core person centred values of empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence.
We promote an evidence-based approach: learning from cognitive archaeology, neuroscience and the impact of trauma, development psychology and attachment theory.
All our strands of work are based upon what people with lived experience have said will make a positive difference to their lives, and are Peer Led.
Peer Power is Peer Led
The Peer Power staff team and young Peer Leaders have experience of support services, resulting in accelerated empathy and engagement with the children and young people we work with.
We are known for our excellence in participatory/ user involvement work with ‘harder to reach’ children and young people.
We don’t speak for (or on behalf of) young people, we support them to have their voices heard and to speak for themselves on the matters that are important to them. We ensure that young people’s voices are heard at the highest levels, and most importantly, that their views are responded to and acted upon.
Many of the children and young people we work with suffer from social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD), and have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and trauma.
Below we set out our approach to engagement and relationship building:
We take a nurturing approach to equip young people with skills and resilience, through developing vital emotional and social skills to help them increase well-being and cope better in education, training or employment environments. The concept of nurture highlights the importance of social environments – who you’re with, and not who you’re born to – and its significant influence on behaviour and cognitive ability. Children and young people who have a good start in life have a whole host of advantages over those who don’t have such positive experiences at home when they are little. They tend to do better at school, attend regularly, enjoy activities with friends and are significantly less likely to offend or experience problems with poor physical or mental health. Nurture approaches offer an opportunity to learn the nurturing experiences some children and young people lack, giving them the skills to do well at school or college, make friends and deal more confidently and calmly with the trials and tribulations of life, for life.
That unconditional positive regard is the most powerful mechanism for change.
The primary theoretical model that underpins the effectiveness of nurturing provision is John Bowlby’s (1965) attachment theory which argues that children acquire age-appropriate behaviour through interactions with significant others. These relationships allow the child to locate themselves as distinct individuals in relation to other people – a fundamental psychological base required for learning. If a child’s early experiences were characterised by missing or distorted nurturing, it can lead to stunted social, emotional and cognitive development. By providing another opportunity to internalise models of effective relationships and form attachments to supportive and caring adults, nurturing can develop vulnerable children’s social and emotional functioning in the long term.
Our approach is positive, strengths based and resilience-oriented. We believe in what’s right with young people, not what is wrong with them. Most work with ‘at risk’ young people is focused upon risk factors and problems, a ‘deficit based’ perspective, in contrast to our positive and ‘strengths based’ approach.
We use evidence based Positive Psychology methodology in our work to support well-being and happiness, it focuses on what makes people happy and encourages it, in comparison to the disease model approach of Psychology which focuses on what makes people unhappy, and tries to prevent it.
The approach focusses on human well-being and is founded on the belief that people want to lead meaningful and fulfilling lives, to cultivate what is best within themselves, and to enhance their experiences of love, work, and play.
At Peer Power we adopt Consortium of Therapeutic Communities Core Values in our approach to engagement:
Empathy Lab Programmes
Understanding Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) and Trauma
Understanding Emotional Intelligence and Resilience
Experience Led Coaching and Mentoring – More information
Positive Psychology Programmes (Custody and Community)
Issue Specific Peer Engagement Programmes: Young Women, Mental Health, Substance Misuse, Offending, Bereavement, Care experience, Housing, Debt
Emotional Health and Well-Being Workshops for Young People and Practitioners (inc Empathy, Values, Identity, Relationships, Managing Stress, Emotional Resilience)
Relational Youth Engagement Training (Youth Justice, Police, Health and Children’s Social Care, Peer Supporters)
Voice of the Young Person Training (Youth Justice) and Shared Decision Making
Voice of the Child/Young Person – Youth Justice Service Audits and Consultation
Peer to Peer research projects and stakeholder engagement events
Storytelling and the Journey of the Child
‘Experience Specific’ consultations and co-production (Young People and Practitioners)
Peer Outreach Programme – Young Speakers
‘Peer Mobilisation’ – Social Action and Volunteering Projects
‘Ready for Work’ – Pre Employment Action (NEET)
Peer Power Works – Employment and Progression Scheme
Our work generates a ripple effect. Using empathy and positive psychology we place young people at the heart of our delivery, increasing their small circles of influence. These grow in impact, influencing the larger circles of the services that support them, creating a wave of systematic change. Driven by what young people have told us will make a difference, our programmes are designed to make an impact, with the following outcomes: