Creating a Safe Space
This article is for both autistic adults looking to access our peer support services and for professionals looking to signpost autistic adults to our service.
At Aupeer we work to ensure that our groups and 1-1 peer support sessions are safe spaces for autistic adults to participate in. This means creating a welcoming and open environment bound by the values of respect and inclusion. It also means that we have the appropriate training underpinning our practice, that we continue to pursue development in necessary areas, that we have the appropriate safeguards in place, and continue to pursue greater knowledge of how we can provide high quality and safe peer support.
The following illustrates how we seek to provide safe services. This is an ongoing task and as we are still within our first year of operation will be a process in which we continue to develop and strengthen what we have in our toolbox.
Our peer support lead Charlotte who facilitates the groups and 1-1 sessions holds an enhanced DBS check and has completed training in the following:
SQA Professional Development Award in Mental Health Peer Support.
Introduction to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Early Trauma
Level 2 Safeguarding Adults with NHS Health Education England.
NCVO Safeguarding Essentials
Suicide First Aid
Charlotte also meets once a month with an autistic HCPC Registered, Chartered Clinical Psychologist who specifically provides peer supervision for her peer support practice within Aupeer, giving opportunity to reflect on challenges and positives and how to strengthen and evolve her practice as a peer support facilitator.
Charlotte proactively ensures professional and knowledge development within the peer support and autistic community by attending workshops such as how to facilitate online spaces safely, attending conferences such as the PARC Critical Autism Studies Conference and keeping up to date with the latest autistic led research involving issues which affect the autistic community.
We continue to create partnerships and relationships with organisations that can provide our peers appropriate support when our knowledge and experience cannot. We keep an up-to-date list of organisations for signposting our peers to.
We have the following active policies in place:
And carry out risk assessments for each of our services.
We were recognised for our provision of high quality peer support by the receiving of an award from the Marsh Charitable Trust and MIND in 2021 .
So, if you are someone looking to access our services for yourself or signposting and individual in a clinical or healthcare setting to our services you can feel confident that you or the individual you signpost will be coming to a space that takes welfare and safeguarding seriously.
If you'd like to discuss further or have any suggestions as to further training and opportunities for Aupeer, especially autistic led and informed opportunities, please contact email@example.com