Susan was living in a shelter in Croydon when she was referred to Peer Circles. Previously Susan had experienced domestic violence from an ex-partner, and was diagnosed with a non-malignant brain tumor 3 years ago. She came back home to stay with her parents in October 2017, then her father passed away in June. She had been battling with mental health issues for 10 years.

Peer Circles has given Susan back her confidence, helped her grow her support network and better manage her mental health through counselling. The programme helped Susan reconnect with her family and friends and build new relationships with her fellow peer advisors.

Susan has benefited from her involvement in Peer Circles and is now coping better with her anxieties, she is now able to be more reflective. Susan found the training, volunteering and social aspects of Peer Circles supported her to positive progress this year. She now has the emotional and practical tools, such as financial management, she needs to achieve her goals. Susan is using the skills taught to her in counselling sessions to help guide her brother who suffers from Asperger’s.

Susan completed her Level 3 advice and guidance course with St Giles and is continuing her training as a Peer Advisor, she now hopes to become a support worker. She has been using her experience of domestic violence to empower other women in refuges.

“I cannot give Evolve enough credit for what they have done for me. Peer Circles supported me when I needed it the most after my father died. Now I have the ability to overcome and achieve anything with the tools Evolve has given me. I recommend Peer Circles to anyone that needs support and help getting back into employment”

Peer Circles is funded by the European Social Fund and National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.

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