Peer Support for Children and Young People’s Mental Health Programme

Providing expert training and resources to staff in schools, colleges or children and young people’s community organisation to develop a peer mentoring programme supporting mental health and wellbeing.

This national DfE funded programme is an exciting opportunity to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in your school, college or children and young people's community organisation (CYPCO). By taking part you will be provided with evidence informed training and resources to successfully refine or develop a peer mentoring programme which will support the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people in your setting.

Schools, colleges and CYCOs will receive £3500 to support their participation in the programme which can be used to backfill staff time, pay for travel or other costs associated with the programme.

The programme consists of two-days of training where staff can explore any existing peer support they have in place at their setting or would like to implement. The training workshops will give staff an opportunity to refine programmes based on evidence informed peer support principles. Attendees will leave ready to establish or refine their own effective peer support in their setting.

The workshops and supporting toolkit will be based on 5 key principles:

  • Building a project appropriate for environment and developmental stage
  • Involving the right people
  • Relationships and trust
  • Young people ownership
  • Keeping safe and establishing boundaries

The workshops will be co-delivered by expert trainers and young people who have previously experienced peer support.

Please note – this is not an academic support programme aimed at raising attainment. This programme is about peer support for mental health and emotional wellbeing.

The programme is centred on evidence based peer support principles derived from a review of the literature - Characterizing Mentoring Programs for Promoting Children and Young People’s Wellbeing.

The programme will be externally evaluated by Ecorys We will work with Ecroys to ensure that organisations receive individualised reports which demonstrate both quantitatively and qualitatively the impact their local project is having on young people’s emotional and educational outcomes.

Evidence and impact will be shared nationally, making a real difference to support the MH and wellbeing of children and young people.

This programme will support a designated member of staff to co design, implement and deliver a sustainable peer mentoring programme in their setting. It is therefore critical that the right representatives attend the two-day training. The lead contact must be a paid member of staff who is available for the duration of both training days and must have the capacity to implement and supervise the programme at their organisation. The lead contact must also commit to attending termly Community of Practice support groups. Community of Practice meetings will take place by telephone, via webinar or face to face.

Please note - we are welcoming expressions of interest from Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Special schools, Colleges, Sixth Forms, Alternative Provisions and PRUs from the following areas only:

  • Derbyshire
  • Greater Manchester
  • East Sussex
  • Suffolk
  • West Yorkshire

We are welcoming expressions of interest from CYPCOs in the West Midlands area only (Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, West Bromwich and Wolverhampton).

For more information please refer to the schools/colleges FAQs and CYPCO FAQs. You can also email with the subject line, Peer Support Programme: Query.

To apply to take part in the programme please complete the expression of interest form by 5pm on Friday 24th November.

Download  - Schools/colleges expression of interest form

Download - CYPCOs expression of interest form