Autism Hub Islington and Camden facilitates peer support groups and social events for people with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome. This support is delivered by our Experts by Experience who volunteer for the Hub and understand the benefits of sharing their experiences with those who are new to the condition.
What is Peer Support?
Peer support is where someone offers a listening ear, expresses empathy, gives basic advice, knowledge or other forms of help to a person who is in a similar situation. In autism circles, it is usually offered by a peer who is autistic or the parent/carer of someone who is on the spectrum.
Peer Support is a highly valuable tool. It is often used to enable people who find it difficult to cope with or find answers to their problems. Receiving peer support from someone who has had broadly similar life experiences can be reassuring as well as inspiring.
How we offer Peer Support
The Autism Hub provides Peer Support by matching those in need of support with our helpful, friendly volunteers who themselves are on the autism spectrum or have extensive experience of what it means to be autistic. Our Peer Support offers befriending, mentoring, supervised one to one sessions and social events. When giving Peer Support, our volunteers know the two most important things are listening and empathy and include these with the following:
- Expressing empathy
- Expressing sympathy
- Offering relevant, easy-to-follow advice
- Sharing personal experiences
When and where to give peer support
One of the best things about peer support is that it isn’t limited to certain environments or time of day. However, some places and times are more autism-friendly than others. When meeting someone face to face, we will choose somewhere quiet and comfortable like a quiet café, community centre, a book shop or even a walk in the park. Otherwise, if a more confidential environment is needed, we will arrange to meet in a suitable quiet space.
Peer support comes in many forms, but however it is given, it can be a lifeline for many autistic people.
If you would like to access our peer support service, please download and complete our confidential short referral form and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.