Services: Peer Support

Edinburgh Carers Council provides peer support services for carers (aged 18 and over) who are supporting someone with mental illness, eating disorder, learning disability, autism, dementia, or acquired brain injury.

What is peer support?

Peer support is the sharing of experiences between two or more people in a safe environment. It is a mutual relationship where people with shared experiences support each other, especially as they move through challenging times.

Caring for someone with a mental illness (or another condition) can often be a lonely and isolating experience. Meeting others who understand what you’re going through can help.

Peer support can help you to:

  • talk about your experiences and work through what you're feeling
  • learn coping strategies from someone who has been through similar difficult circumstances
  • understand your loved one’s diagnosis
  • learn about what other services are available to support you
  • increase self-esteem and confidence
  • feel reassured that you are not alone

Peer Groups

The peer groups we run are a safe space for carers to meet one another to share experiences, feelings, and for emotional and practical support.

We currently facilitate two general groups for carers who are supporting someone with mental illness, learning disability, autism, dementia, or acquired brain injury.

Leith Carers Peer Support Group
Great Michael House, 14 Links Place, EH6 7EZ
Usually on the second Tuesday of the month, 11am-12:30pm

Redhall Carers Peer Support Group
Redhall Walled Garden, 97 Lanark Road, EH14 2LZ
Usually on the last Friday of the month, 2pm-3:30pm
* Please note – Redhall Walled Garden is temporarily closed on Fridays so our peer group in June and July 2024 will instead be at the Water of Leith Visitor Centre (24 Lanark Road) which is just down the road from Redhall Walled Garden.

We also facilitate groups and services specifically for individuals who are supporting someone with an eating disorder. Please visit our Eating Disorder services page for more information.

To find out more or to book your place, please email or call 0131 322 8480.

1:1 Peer Support

We also offer 1:1 peer support via our peer support volunteers – individuals who have experience of caring. You can meet with them on a regular basis (at times that work for both you and the volunteer) for up to 6 months. Meetings are usually in-person in a café or another public space that is convenient to you and the volunteer. The peer volunteer will talk with you, listen to your story, and share their own experiences.

To find out more, please email or call us on 0131 322 8480.

Volunteer with us

Are you a carer or former carer who would like to become a peer support volunteer? If so, we would love to have you on our team.

Our volunteers are trained by Health and Mind through the Peer Community’s Peer Work Training Course. The training consists of a 1-day per week, 5-week course.

All our volunteers are also disclosure checked and have received their PVGs from Disclosure Scotland.

To find out more, please email or call us on 0131 322 8480.

The Peer Community

Edinburgh Carers Council is a member of The Peer Community, a network of support for peer workers in Edinburgh. The Peer Community organises learning and development events, and keeps people up to date with current peer support services throughout Edinburgh. They also create awareness around peer support.

To find out more, visit:

You can subscribe to the Peer Community newsletter or follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

Side by Side: The Power of Peer Support

The Peer Community has made a short 15-minute film about peer work in Edinburgh. You can watch the film here

Shorter videos of some of the individual participants of the film are also available to watch.
Here is the video about one of our fantastic peer support volunteers, Alexis.

You can view all of the individual videos on Health in Mind’s Youtube Channel.