Peer Support Service (East Sussex Community Network)

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The Peer Support Service is provided by Peer Specialists, people with lived experience of mental health challenges, who can support you to take control of your mental health and stay well.

The service is part of a network of mental health recovery support, called the East Sussex Community Network (for more information download the leaflet below - translated versions are also available on our website here).

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement

During these uncertain times we would like to reassure you that we are still operating and are here to support you.

“During these unprecedented and rapidly changing times, the health and wellbeing of our staff, clients and wider local communities, is at the very forefront of our plans to respond to the coronavirus public health major incident.” - Neil Blanchard, Chief Executive Click here to read the full message from Southdown’s Chief Executive.

The East Sussex Community Network (ESCN) Peer Support Service is adhering to the social distancing advice set out by the Government and therefore will not be facilitating groups/drop-ins at our Wellbeing centres for the time being. 

We will be contacting any clients who have recently attended the drop-ins to check in on their current wellbeing and signpost to relevant sources of community support. Any clients who are currently meeting with a Peer Specialist for one to one support, will be contacted with the view to continue this support by phone or another mutually convenient method.

We realise that during this current period of change and uncertainty, the community will benefit from even more support to help manage wellbeing and mental health. We are accepting new referrals from services/clients who feel they could benefit from one-to-one support to help manage their mental health. Our Specialists will work with clients to develop Wellness Plans, identifying strategies and tools to help manage recovery and prevent crisis.  

We are also exploring different methods of communication that will enable the service and clients to support one another, sharing messages of hope and positivity.

We want to reassure our clients that we are still available to support them and that although this will not be face to face, we will work with them to identify how we can best support them during this challenging time.

Referral forms for the service can be found in the ‘Downloads’ section at the bottom of this page.

If you have any queries about the service please contact Michelle Trunchion (Team Manager) by calling 07772 613945 or by email at

Please visit the NHS website for the latest advice on what to do if you think you might be infected or at risk, and how you can prevent the spread of coronavirus.

We would like to wish you and your family well and we will update this page when our telephone support model changes.

What support is available?

One to one support

Drawing on personal experiences of mental health challenges our Peer Support Specialists will work with you to support recovery and prevent crisis, enabling you to identify and maintain positive coping strategies and self-management tools.

Our trainer Peer Specialists will work with you for up to 6-8 sessions enabling you to identify goals and overcome challenges that will help you move forward in your recovery and maintain positive health and well-being. This includes managing your mental health, identifying your strengths and interests, connecting with the local community and exploring options such as volunteering, returning to work or other beneficial activities.

Drop in sessions (currently paused due to Coronavirus - see statement above)

We also offer weekly recovery focussed drop in sessions at our East Sussex Community Network Well-being centres where you can talk with other people facing mental health challenges in a friendly, safe and informal environment. The drop-ins are led by our Peer Specialists and a Peer volunteer, however, you will have the opportunity to share and listen to stories of recovery and hope, enabling and empowering one another to move forward and identify management techniques and pathways for recovery. If you are interested in volunteering your time to co-facilitate our weekly drop-in sessions, please get in touch.

Where can I access support?

The Peer Support Service is provided at the East Sussex Community Network’s seven Wellbeing Centres in Hastings/ St Leonard’s, Bexhill, Lewes, Eastbourne, Hailsham, Uckfield and Newhaven. You can also request to meet a Peer Support Specialist in your local community.

Am I eligible and how do I apply?

The service is available for people aged 16+ living in East Sussex with mental health support needs. To apply, contact us on the details below. We accept self-referrals and referrals from organisations and providers on behalf of individuals.

Accredited Peer Mentoring Training

Do you have lived experience of mental health challenges?

If you are interested in Peer support/mentoring, we provide a NCFE Level 2 Award in Mentoring. This qualification provides a deeper understanding of the role of a mentor and will provide you with the skills, knowledge, competency and confidence to mentor others using a recovery focussed/peer support approach.


Service Location: 

Contact Details

Peer Support Service Team
Job Title: 
General Enquiries
01323 405 334 / 07772 613945