Peer Support

What is Peer Support?

Peer support is when people use their own personal experience and knowledge to help each other. Peer support is different from other types of support because the source of support is coming from a similar person with relevant experience. Everyone in the group is viewed as an expert of their own health and wellbeing and everyone’s views and experiences are viewed equally. 

Someone in a peer support group might be living with a long term health condition and share examples of what works for them. By sharing this information, it could help others in the group to manage their condition better and cope with symptoms or flare ups.

“I look forward to it …… I get support advice and I learn new things

Peer Group Member

What happens at a Peer Support group?

Our Peer Support groups meet once a month for around one hour in community venues or GP surgeries across Doncaster. The groups are facilitated by our Health and Wellbeing coaches but the content and structure of the session is decided by the peers. One week the group might decide to have a guest speaker such as a local GP or pharmacist, another week they might have an introductory session to Yoga, Tai Chi or Mindfulness or organise an Art Therapy or Aromatherapy session. Some weeks the group might fancy just having a cup of tea and a catch up with each other.

NHS England considers effective peer support groups beneficial to physical, mental and social well-being.

Does Peer Support work?

There is evidence that peer support can help people feel more knowledgeable, confident and happy and less isolated and alone. A number of studies have found that peer support can improve health outcomes amongst people with long-term physical conditions and mental health issues (Nesta, 2015).

What types of Peer Support groups are there and how do I join?

We have a range of peer support groups running across Doncaster. Some of the groups are aimed at people with specific health conditions while others are designed to support residents to maintain a healthy weight or more generally improve their health and wellbeing. 

Below are a list of our peer groups:

  • Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Pre Diabetes 
  • Diabetes 
  • Be Well, Feel Good (Healthy Weight Management )
  • Wellbeing (based on the Five ways to wellbeing,
  • Bereavement

All our groups are free to attend. Simply find out where your nearest group is on our map and turn up, there is no need to book. 

Find out what peer groups are running in your local area by clicking on the links below. It’s as easy as that!

Testimonials from attendees

  • J.B.PSG member

    This group improves my confidence. Peers are genuinely empathetic. They don’t pass judgement. Emotional and social support I receive is greater than just practical support.

  • Peer Group Member

     When I attended my first chronic pain group at Conisbrough in 2020 I was surprised at how many people there was. After being diagnosed for approx. 8yrs I hadn’t found any support groups or known anyone else with fibromyalgia so I was looking forward to it.

    Then lockdown happened and the group went online which I found a lifeline as it was quite lonely during lockdown. I was very interested in the different speakers that were organised. I totally understand depression plays a big part in people’s life so I believe it’s important for these groups to be available to give support, advice and learn new things. I am especially enjoying the fibromyalgia workout with Functional Fitness.’

  • AnnePre-diabetes group, Dunsville

    I got scared when my GP rang me saying that I was pre-diabetes. One of my friends found this group on the Internet. I joined the group from the beginning. It was only two of us. Since then, the group grew larger. This is my sixth time here. It is nice to talk to others and receive the support. I like the idea of having guest speakers helping us.

Interested in starting your own group? We want to hear from you!

Have you thought about meeting people with whom you have something in common? Perhaps, you share the same interests or experienced something similar? Our team can support you in setting up your own peer support group in your community. Simply email

Meet with your own Health and Wellbeing Coach

Are you finding it hard to cope? Feeling unhappy or anxious? Maybe something doesn’t feel right —
but you’re not sure why? Get to the bottom of the problem, and work out how to change things for
the better, with Be Well. Over a series of free, 1:1 sessions tailored to suit you, A Health Coach can help you to plan small steps that make a big and lasting difference. All so that you can live a happier day-to-day life.

A health coach is just like a sports coach. But instead of cheering you on towards scoring a goal or winning a game, they inspire and motivate you to make changes in your everyday life. They won’t push you to do things you’re uncomfortable with, or make you feel bad if something doesn’t go to plan. It’s up to you what you do — and they’re here to guide, support, and advise you along the way.

To speak to a coach simply text Bewell (all one word) followed by your full name and the area where you live to 82228. Your coach will be in touch to arrange an appointment between 9am-7pm, Monday to Friday at a community venue near you.