What Education Professionals say:
“Anne has run several sessions for us, for groups of students and teachers, and for a group of counsellors from different universities. She always found the right way to address their needs in a positive and life-inspiring way. Her experience in Peer Support, Stress and Anxiety Management and Counselling makes her the perfect person to connect with the students from different backgrounds and disciplines, to instate a sense of belonging and normality for them and to support them in finding a way out from their difficult situations. Anne’s passion for her work transpires through her dedication to help every individual who approaches her and in guiding them to successful resolutions of their issues. Her lectures for the group of counsellors gave them a new insight into different ways of helping students at their universities, and a better understanding of some not commonly discussed issues. We received positive feedback from students, teachers and counsellors that attended her workshops and hope to carry on working with Anne for many years to come. ” Dr Lana Delerue , Operations Manager , Oxford Prospects Programmes, March 2021
We have had the delight of working with Anne for the past few years on our students and university staff programmes. This year we migrated some of our programmes online and Anne has been invaluable in offering her workshops on peer support.
Her sessions are very well paced and adapted to either the students or the university staff level. They are fully interactive making sure that the students get the best out of them and feel comfortable sharing experiences and useful tips.
Anne’s sessions receive positive feedback and rank amongst the students’ favourite sessions of the programme.
If you have anyone who need to be trained in peer support or feel that students in the current climate could benefit from a session about how to manage stress, then I would fully recommend Anne to any of you.
It has been a pleasure to work with her!
Russell White, Programme Co-Ordinator, Oxford Prospects Programmes, March 2021
“Anne developed and delivered a wellbeing workshop for our students and the feedback was incredibly positive, especially given the fact most of the students, aged 15 and 16, would not have come across ideas of wellbeing before. I feel confident that Anne’s session will have a real benefit on the students in remaining calm and equipping them with tools to looking after themselves during their upcoming GCSEs, and beyond. In developing the course Anne was able to tailor her knowledge and experience to best benefit our students, and on top of all that was an absolute pleasure to work with.” Alex Whitton, Programme Co-ordinator, Universify
What Peer Support Trainers say:
“The Self-care Session opened up the opportunity to really deeply consider what we all needed as individuals to be well and take care of ourselves. For me, it was an opportunity to really delve into my self-wellbeing and not just consider a quiet five minutes emptying the dishwasher (unencumbered by children) as the best my self-care could get!
I was amazed just how much I got from the few short exercises with Anne considering self-care. Her reflections of self-care were very usefully summarised, explaining that we know that if we give attention to our wellbeing, and act with kindness and compassion to ourselves – we are stronger and more resilient and can connect to those around us in a more meaningful way.” Rachel Evans, Assistant Peer Support Co-ordinator, Action on Postpartum Psychosis
“I had the great pleasure of being part of a training with Connect Peer Support in early 2019. It was exceptionally thorough, and I left well-equipped to begin the task of establishing a Peer Support programme in my institution. Not only did we cover the “nuts and bolts” of training peer supporters, but we also thought carefully and in detail about the difficulties we might come up against in our organisations and how we might approach them. Anne is an experienced, energetic and committed trainer, with a long-established relationship with Peer Support. Her dedication, belief and passion for Peer Support in universities is at the very heart of the training. I would have no hesitation about recommending this training, both in terms of the practical and informative side of establishing such a programme, but also as an exercise in self-discovery, which is attended to with delicacy and care.”
Jo Myddelton, Counsellor, Birkbeck, University of London
“I attended the Connect Peer Support Training in January 2019. I was an unusual candidate as I was attached to an academic department, rather than coming from a more centralised student support service such as the counselling department – I was nervous about attending, but these fears were totally unfounded. By the end of the training I felt thoroughly equipped not only to train students to become peer supporters, but I had a good understanding of the processes needed to ensure structures are formed within the University to support the programme for it to become firmly embedded. Anne carries a wealth of experience, and used this not only to guide us to reflect on the practical issues of setting up the programme within our particular institution but also to learn the programme using experiential methods. The process of discovery led to a sense of understanding of the programme, myself and my own personal blind spots. This was aided by the reflection that was encouraged at all times. One of the most interactive and stimulating trainings that I’ve attended, in large part down to Anne’s skills and care in running it.” Dr Sophie Brigstoke, Educational Psychologist and Lecturer, Psychology Department, University of York
“I attended Anne’s Training for Trainers of Peer Supporters in August 2018. Anne is an engaging facilitator who guided us through the training with a skilful mix of experiential exercises, information giving, thought provoking questions and the benefit of her substantial experience of facilitating training. She’s passionate about peer support and this comes through in the quality of her delivery and her presence.” Kate Brady, Senior Counsellor, Centre for Wellbeing, University of Surrey
“In 2014 I attended the ‘training for trainers in peer support’, while Anne was still at Oxford University. The course covered all aspects of how to set up and deliver a successful peer support programme. It also gave you a flavour of the experiential nature of the manual Anne has compiled, which guides you through the course’s content.
Armed with confidence following the course, a colleague and I went on to set up Peer support at the University of Glasgow. Throughout this process Anne has been incredibly supportive and readily available for consultations both in person and on the phone. Her depth of knowledge and experience saved time and was an important backstop in decision making.
After four years of Peer support training at Glasgow and having trained over 100 students using Anne’s manual and method, I can confidently and whole heartedly recommend Anne as an extremely effective trainer and consultant.” Sharon Kretschmer, Peer Support Coordinator, University of Glasgow
“The first time I held a Peer Support Manual in my hands was the year 2006, when my colleague from the University of Tartu and I had a study visit at Oxford University. We were so impressed that we decided to translate the materials and start new peer support groups back in Estonia. It was a good idea but actually, we had to wait for 4 more years. We next met with Anne Ford and Ruth McCalman in 2010 through the Peer Support Trainers Training in Estonia. Both trainers were very committed and supportive.
I could say that those 5 days were the beginning of a new era in my work: at first through translating the Peer Support Manual and then by running peer support trainings with motivated and active students at Tallinn University. Now years later I have worked as a Peer Support Trainer in several Higher Education Institutions in Estonia. Students’ feedback has been very positive in all of these institutions and I have seen the great progress of young people.” Ivi Niinep, Psychologist and Peer Support Trainer, Tallinn University, Estonia
What Sixth Form students say:
“Peer Support is a way of listening, communicating and helping others with their problems. One thing I learnt that will help me in my life is to listen to people without judging them and not to assume what they think.” 16 year old student
“The peer support training was an amazing experience for me. I learnt how to deal with other people’s feelings without putting my own onto them. I also learnt to listen to the others and to let them talk through everything on their mind.” 17 year old student
“Training has enlightened me more on the kind of problems people face and has given me the skills to deal with them. I have become a GOOD LISTENER!” 18 year old student
What University students say:
“Peer Support has really helped me in situations where people are distressed, in that I don’t panic and try to solve it all, or feel inadequate, but I can concentrate on listening. I really hadn’t realised before what a difference it makes to the supportee. The person I was supporting told me what helped the most is that I left a ‘space’ for them to say what they needed, and hadn’t rushed in with an answer. I was supporting without even knowing it and I am pleasantly surprised to have this proof that peer support works!” Fay, peer supporter
“Peer Support has actively changed me as a person – without the training we undertook, I wouldn’t believe the difference we can make in so many ways to the atmosphere of [my institution]. The amount that we have talked about self-worth and self-care has really changed the way I treat myself and my outlook on the university experience. Peer Support gave me the confidence and the skills to really bring out my natural empathy and care for those around me; I have always found happiness in helping others, and Peer Support has allowed me to do that so much more effectively. I have no doubt that I will continue to find use for the skills I’ve learned.” Chloe, peer supporter