Peer Support Groups at IDRS are about helping people with cognitive impairment come together and support each other by forming a friendship group that meets regularly in an accessible venue. Our peer support groups take many different forms and provide spaces for people to talk about things that are important to them, have support to make decisions, learn new skills and find the confidence to take on new challenges.
Activities generally undertaken by our Peer Support Groups are: social outings, regular drop-in service where people talk about life issues, writing letters and submissions to advocate for better services, workshops for making decisions and setting goals, learning life skills.
The groups are co-designed and co-led by a team of educators and volunteers with and without cognitive impairment. Group agreements will usually involve the following:
- Respect each other
- Listen to each other, so everyone gets to have a say
- Remain confidential, what is said in the group stays in the group
- Speak up, if something or someone makes you feel unsafe
The number of peer support groups, the regularity and length of group meetings and the continuation of groups are dependent upon ongoing funding.
Current Peer Support Groups that you are welcome to enquire about are:Making Rights Real
This group have been selected to represent the voices of people with intellectual disability from various IDRS services. The group is actively involved and has valid input into business decisions across the following areas:
- Advises IDRS team members and the board about issues
- Helps choose IDRS team members through the recruitment process
- Influences the design and style of company resources
- Speaks up about important rights issues
Length of time: 2 hours
Members: there are 6 members of the group who are all paid for their work
This group is FREE for people with cognitive disabilities who want to meet new people and learn new things. The group has a lot of fun together and undertakes many different activities such as:
- Talk about ideas that are important to you
- Go on group outings in the community (e.g. karaoke, going to movies, having BBQs)
- Learn and develop new skills eg advocacy
- Share experiences in a safe environment
When: every second Friday
Time: 1pm to 3pm
This group is FREE for people with cognitive disabilities who want to meet new people and learn new things within a supportive environment. This group meets in a regular venue, and acts as a drop-in support service where members get a chance to talk to each other and make decisions about group activities they may want to be involved in.
Frequency: fortnightly in venue close to Penrith Station
When: every second Friday
Time: 11am to 1 pm
This group is FREE online group for people with intellectual disability who live in Australia. The group is designed for people with intellectual disability to share information that is important to them, support each other, learn new things and meet people who have similar interests and or challenges. At times IDRS team members will:
- Run an online poll to find out more about current issues
- Share and clarify industry information which may be helpful for members
- Advertise IDRS services and upcoming events for people with disability
There are no set meetings for this group. It is a closed online group and is set on ‘private’ in Facebook. An IDRS team member manages the group invitation requests and monitors content that appears online.
I’d definitely do things differently – I was fed up with my services before so I’m going to ask for different things with the NDIS. I do a lot of things differently now I go to the group. I feel much more confident.”
Peer support network member