NewsWe’ve won funding to launch free Peer Support Network

We’ve won funding to launch free Peer Support Network


We’ve been awarded £13,520 to launch a Peer Support Network to help people with both diagnosed and undiagnosed eating disorders and eating difficulties, and their carers (April 2022).

We’ve received 50% of the project funding from No Wrong Door* and the remainder matched from Social Care in Action’s (SCiA) community Action Fund.

Funding boost

Wendy Lee, our Head of Health and Wellbeing, says: “We’re delighted to have received this funding boost to help us with the delivery of our essential new Peer Support Network. It means we’ll be able to work with adults, side by side, offering much greater support for free via three new ways: online with self-help tools, with volunteer peer supporters offering assistance and support online too, monthly small face-to-face peer-led group sessions here in our building, or one-to-one peer buddy sessions out in the community at safe, neutral venues.

Managing day-to-day triggers

“Peer volunteers and members will share top tips for coping with eating difficulties and help people with the practicalities of managing day-to-day triggers, for instance, when in social situations. Unlike alcohol or smoking, we all need to eat. Food is our fuel, and we can’t just abandon it, so sharing coping strategies are vital.

“Currently, it is understood that one in 10 people nationally has an eating disorder and this number is set to rise further with long waiting lists to see NHS Eating Disorder Teams.

48% increase in referrals

“We understand that the local Eating Disorders Service has seen a 48% increase in referrals on pre-Covid times. We’re hoping to reach people who may be waiting for the NHS Eating Disorder Team to get in touch or haven’t yet asked for help. The eating issues people struggle with may or may not be diagnosed, but they significantly impact their lives, and we can help.

“We already deliver weekly sessions with the charity tastelife to help people with eating disorders, and disordered eating, and their carers. Following a successful launch at the end of last year, our next course starts (April 26) and runs for eight weeks. Working with tastelife, we’ll train our volunteer peer supporters based on the national mental health charity MIND’s best practice for running Peer Support Networks.

Support undiagnosed & diagnosed

“Supported by tastelife’s materials, peers will also have training on mental health and mindfulness topics. With our Peer Support Network, we’ll be able to offer support to both those undiagnosed and diagnosed, who may be on an NHS waiting list, as well as help those that care for and about them. We’ll also be able to assist anyone who wants to have a conversation about their or a loved ones eating habits and who may be unsure if they have issues around food.”

We offer a range of affordable counselling and wellbeing services including covering a number of life issues such as anxiety, stress, bereavement, loss, trauma, depression, eating difficulties and relationships

Wellbeing & counselling

“We’re here for you and not for profit and it’s our mission to offer affordable, accessible wellbeing and counselling assistance and support in Southampton, Hampshire and Dorset.”

SCiA & the Action Fund

We’re part of SCiA, which is based on Dukes Road in Southampton. SCiA is a not-for-profit group of charitable social enterprises working together to improve health and wellbeing in communities across southern England.

SCiA provides services in communities, meeting the needs of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged residents, delivering day, home and complex care, transport services and health, wellbeing and counselling services.

It’s Action Fund helps those that need financial assistance at a grassroots level through grants given to partner organisations such as us for our Peer Support Network.

Get in touch

For further details about our Peer Support Network, visit our dedicated page on the website here.

*No Wrong Door is an adult community mental health transformation programme across Hampshire, Southampton, Isle of Wight, and Portsmouth.  Involved partners include Southampton City Council, NHS Solent and Solent MIND.