Funded by the Scottish Government and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the Alliance), our Mentor M.E. project set up peer mentoring support for people living with or caring for people with M.E. in Scotland from 2016 to 2021, resulting in a detailed guide to setting-up local peer mentor support.
We trained and supported peer mentors who offered structured, one-to-one peer mentoring to people with M.E. Later on, we extended this support to people who were caring for people with M.E. The inspiration for the project came from people with M.E. who, following previous projects, wanted to have access to ongoing support and have opportunities to share experiences constructively. A couple of these people continued to feed into the development of the project and became volunteer peer mentors.
One volunteer mentor told us:
“The project gave me an opportunity to use my experience of illness in a positive way that was beneficial to myself and others. I realised that although I may lack traditional work experience, going through illness has given me a unique set of skills and qualities which are useful and valuable in many contexts.”
Glasgow-based Avril Mclean, now our Advocacy Senior Practitioner Scotland, oversaw the five-year project from start to finish. She says:
“A real benefit for many was meeting others who understood what they were going through, and who could offer understanding and compassion. Knowing that all arrangements and meetings could be flexible and re-arranged if needed was a real relief.”
The learning from the project has, with input from those who took part, been documented in a detailed guide to setting-up local peer mentor support. You can download this free here or contact us to request printed copies.
This guide is suitable for anyone considering facilitating peer mentoring for people living with or caring for someone with a chronic fluctuating and/or energy-limiting health condition, such as M.E./CFS or Long Covid. It includes invaluable information and advice, plus mentoring tools, models, resources, forms and templates.
Watch our short Mentor M.E. film to hear more from the people with M.E. who took part in the project.