Our first ever peer support event was held on 27th April 2019. The event was hosted by Kirsty Caswell and Jo Petheram (our Patient and Family Liaison Nurses) and a small number of our patients were invited to attend. We were thrilled that Frank Chege (Patient Liaison Nurse at London’s Air Ambulance) was also able to join us on the day.

When your life has been turned upside down by a serious injury, the road ahead can be hard to comprehend. At these times, it can be invaluable to hear from those who have been on the journey you are about to take. Frank shared many inspiring examples of how peer support has made a difference to the lives of so many patients and their families. Kindly, three of our patients shared details of their incident, while all other attendees engaged in positive conversation around the topic. We were delighted when young Maisie Sheridan concluded the event by standing up and singing a beautiful song.

Kirsty said: “We are really pleased and humbled by how well our first peer support event went. It was a bit of an unknown, as we weren't sure how people would feel about the idea of engaging with a stranger and sharing personal memories of their trauma. However, we were met with much enthusiasm and a willingness to provide help for our future patients. This is so rewarding for us, because as nurses, we try to empathise and understand what our patients are going through, but nobody can understand your situation better than someone who has already lived through it.

“Now that we have a group of past patients signed up as future peer supporters, we will be able to carefully introduce patients where necessary and facilitate really therapeutic relationships.

“Jo and I would like to thank those who attended and volunteered their time to help others. Your support to our new and developing service is hugely appreciated.”