Peer Support is an emerging and evolving approach to Transformational Learning (TL), in which we commit to behave with dignity and to encourage self-determination for everyone, through Support, Hope, Advocacy, Personal Responsibility and Education (SHAPE).
The simple premise of Positive Ways Peer Support – PWPS – (adopting DENT© principles) is that people and peers are; good enough; have the resources they need; can co-operate; are sometimes in need of confidence; but together, through mutual support and encouragement, they can make things happen.
PWPS provides many pathways to contribute, participate, join and influence group matters. It is an open form system, which means all can contribute and we are clear on how we work. We are all volunteers and so transparency is paramount, which means we explain our ways of working, investing and reporting.
This is because, TL is best achieved when we commit to the long term relationship, stay willing to resolve and settle relationship tensions and collaborate with others, both inside and outside of our group. Our aim is to build, solidarity, develop alliances and feel able to welcome those who may feel marginalised, to our groups.
This is because peer education is about expanding self-awareness and understanding experiences, especially those that are not our own; that is in understanding another’s perspective. To learn, peering must be approached with humility and a willingness to accept and give feedback.
Part of that humility and acceptance includes decision making being led by consensus rather than by majority rule. This is slow, frustrating, especially when people insist that either they are not good enough or insist on being told what to do, and requires calmness. Yet with patience and tenacity, TL is facilitated, a healthier approach to choosing evolves and better-quality decisions arise.
To be effective, Positive Ways encourages Social Enterprise from within the group and through the Adept Living Foundation (ALF) which ensures that we always provide what is valued and we are not therefore reliant on others to fund or decide our priorities.
DENT© Dynamic Experiential Narrative Theory (DENT) is grounded in Social Constructivist approaches which informs leadership, organisational development and the growth of the human potential. It’s core and pragmatic proposition is that individuals are collective more successful when they have clear purpose, negotiate mutuality with their peers, integrate their personal and world view with the needs of their social world and co-operate together.