Peer to Peer Support

What is peer to peer support?

Peer support is when people use their own experiences to help each other. There are different types of peer support, but they all aim to:

  • bring together people with shared experiences to support each other
  • provide a space where you feel accepted and understood
  • treat everyone's experiences as being equally important
  • involve both giving and receiving support.

Everyone's views and experiences are equally valued, rather than anyone being seen as more of an expert than others. How much support you give and receive can vary depending on what feels right for you at different times.

Types of peer to peer support

Many groups, organisations and individuals offer different types of peer support. These differences may include:

  • what you have in common. Peer support brings together people with shared experiences, and these experiences can vary.
  • what you do together. You might focus on talking and discussion, which could be about particular topics or difficulties, anything you feel like or a mixture, depending on how the support is run.
  • how you access the support. Peer support might involve meeting in person or it might be something you access online – for example social media networks or communities dedicated to online support. You might also use other ways of getting in touch, such as emails, phone calls or text messages.
  • how many people take part. You might meet in a group, which might sometimes be called a self-help or support group. Or you might take part in one-to-one peer support, which is sometimes called mentoring or befriending. This is where you work towards goals you've agreed together with someone else.

Could peer to peer support help me?

Lots of people find peer support improves their wellbeing and helps them cope. For example, it could:

  • help you to open up about what you are feeling and experiencing
  • introduce you to ideas and approaches that others have found helpful
  • reassure you that you're not alone in how you are feeling
  • help you to connect with others and give you a sense of belonging
  • encourage you to value your strengths
  • build your self-esteem and confidence
  • help you to feel more hopeful about the future.

Peer to Peer Support Groups

What is the Cancer Care map?

Cancer Care Map is a simple, online resource that aims to help you find cancer support services in your local area wherever you are in the UK.

Let us know

We are continuously reviewing and updating our Help and Support section, if you received support from a group that you would like added to this page contact