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Project overview

The Lab Essays capture the Lab's learning from our pilot year
The Lab Essays capture the Lab’s learning from our pilot year

From April 2017 to May 2018, the topic of the Q Lab’s pilot project focused on what it would take for peer support to more widely available.

During the project, the Lab collaborated almost 200 Lab participants – a fantastic group of people including clinicians, patients, designers, academics, Q members, non-Q members, representatives from charities, social care, housing associations, national bodies and think tanks.

What we achieved

Learning on peer support

During the project we uncovered some examples of great work happening throughout the UK and surfaced some of the key challenges and tensions that need to be worked through in order to deliver high quality peer support.

New insights from the UK’s largest peer support survey

The Q Lab also generated new insights from a large scale survey on how people make decisions in peer support. Working with YouGov and Dr Christina Pagel from UCL, we unearthed what matters to people when deciding whether to refer to, recommend or use peer support services. The results were presented at HSRUK Conference in July 2018.

Peer Support Evidence Hub

As a result of this project, the Health Foundation awarded a grant to National Voices to develop a new online Evidence Hub for peer support – an idea developed during the Lab process in collaboration with the charities National Voices, Mind and Positively UK. It is scheduled to launch in January 2019.

Through collating and curating peer support resources, tools and evidence, the Hub will improve the development of peer support programmes, which will ultimately have a positive impact on the availability and quality of peer support in the UK.

Connections and collaborations

A diverse community of people with expertise in peer support who are connecting and collaborating on peer support projects.

Key learning

The Lab also learned a great deal about how to undertake collaborative problem solving – our evaluation methods and approaches yielded invaluable insights, allowing us to understand how and in what ways the Lab is best place to support change.

Learn more and stay connected

  • Read the Lab Essays which summarise what the Lab is, our learning on peer support and the new insights from a YouGov survey on decision-making in peer support.
  • Join the Q Lab peer support online group. Make new connections and share and discuss ideas on peer support.
  • Read more about the Peer Support Evidence Hub and sign-up to the newsletter from National Voices to get involved.