Sharing the work

Working together with other facilitators

If you are working with other facilitators, you will want to split up the tasks with your fellow facilitators at an early stage. We have found that facilitators have tended to be good at either the organisation and admin side of things – organising times, booking venues, keeping notes etc. – or the social and emotional aspect of peer support (of course, some people are good at both!). It works well when facilitators who are working together they can decide what type of skills/experience they have to help with dividing up tasks. Again this will depend on the size of the group and the number of facilitators.

A good idea is to have a think about what you are good at and what experiences you have.  We have found that people’s occupations have an influence here. For example, if you have been a teacher or nurse the people skills you have used might help you to be good at the social side of peer support whereas if you have been a manger or receptionist you might be particularly good at organising sessions.

Take a look at how the following facilitators shared tasks:

Task: Think about which aspects of peer support you would be best at – social/emotional, organisational/admin, both, or some other aspect? Write down what group or support work you have done before and whether you have experience with organisation and admin work.  What other skills and experience could you bring to peer support?

What happens if you do not get on well with your fellow facilitators

Talking with them should always be the first port of call. Assuming that it is not an issue that can be ironed out – and clearly some people just do not ‘gel’ – then it would not be good for the group for you to continue working together. In this case it would be a good idea to consult organisers.

Using the group as a resource

The group itself is a valuable resource. You can share up responsibilities between the group, for example by designating roles to play or taking it in turns to bring refreshments. You should also draw on the group for ideas on how to take it forward. It may be that members would prefer to go in a certain direction e.g. have more of a social club, or focus on particular topics. When you are in sessions, if you feel like you run out of things to talk about, asking group members for ideas is a good idea. This is entirely appropriate within peer support because all members are expected to contribute equally to the process, as opposed you facilitators setting their own agendas and peers following it.