Barnsley Community Connects

2min read

In Barnsley we deliver a peer support service for people who are experiencing emotional wellbeing problems, who may feel isolated, lonely, lack confidence and/or experience a sense of being out of control or powerlessness over their situation. They may feel disconnected from their community and feel unable to live life the way they had hoped to. At Family Lives we recognise that everyone’s experience is unique to what is happening for them in their life and mind and that everyone will feel things at different degrees of severity over different periods of time.

Our team of staff and volunteers support people by offering emotional and practical support, which aims to enable people to regain balance in their life. We do this by offering a listening ear and understanding and developing positive peer relationships. We support people to find their own strengths and solutions, build their confidence and self-esteem. We help them to develop a toolkit and coping strategies on their journey to achieving better mental health, living life independently, achieving their aspirations, forging meaningful connections and purpose and living their life well.

Our Peer Supporters have lived experience and have a good understanding of what people are going through and coping with. We know what it feels like to feel you are alone and we understand that sometimes the worry and concern about the stigma associated with mental health can be overwhelming and can act as a barrier to seeking support. We also know how relived and hopeful people can feel when they do reach out and realise that they are not alone and support is available.

We work closely with the Social Prescribing Service, Midwives, Health Visitors, Barnsley Recovery College and other community primary health care teams. We have good partnerships with local community services such as colleges, employment, benefit and housing teams, Refugee Council, Migrant Community Partnership, Family Centres, Create Recovery and so much more.

Our support services 

At Family Lives we believe that our services are needed more than ever in the current crisis; we know that many individuals and families are experiencing even more challenges. This service provides a programme of support which, includes, face-to-face sessions in the home and community, phone and remote support, group work, social gatherings, signposting and support with accessing other services and activities.

We aim to deliver a friendly service in a manner that encourages participation and partnership and enables us to tailor our service to meet people’s unique needs. We appreciate it will change as we travel together but to begin with we can offer the following types of support:

  • Core Connection:  weekly 1:1 support for approximately 6 months alongside weekly group activities
  • Light Touch: fortnightly 1:1 support for approximately 4 months alongside group activities

Care to Chat:

  • Phone and online support, including signposting to the Family Lives helpline, email support and live chat and other services.
  • Online peer support forum and Facebook group where people can engage and connect with each other in a safe space, offer and receive support, share and gain information about coping strategies, local community events and relevant helpful organisations.

The online support can be accessed along the individual support sessions and group work.

Get in touch

For information about this project and to access this service, please email Lesley or call 07971 253308. You can also visit our Facebook page for regular updates.