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Peer Supporter Service

Hello!

We are here to assist you through your transition journey, wherever it may take you. We have both been through it ourselves, so can offer you understanding, compassion and, if appropriate, the benefit of our experiences to help you out. We hope there will be lots of opportunities over the coming months for us to connect with you, hear your story and help you to gain access to any support you may need, either through further engagement with ourselves or through referral to other service providers.

What we do

Our focus is on helping you achieve a sense of wellbeing – working with you to develop goals, strategies and action plans to improve your mental, physical and emotional health, so that you are in the best possible place when you attend for your first assessment appointment.

Our aim is to bring transgender people together to create support networks, combat loneliness and isolation, exchange information, improve self-confidence and develop coping strategies and resilience.

We will be offering a range of opportunities to engage and connect with us.

Group sessions:

  • Focusing on specific issues/activities to provide information and tools to help you develop strategies to maximise your well-being
  • Practical information and advice sessions on a variety of topics
  • General meet ups for just a chat and a cuppa!

One-to-One sessions:

  • An opportunity for you to have a more in-depth conversation with us about any issue or problem you may have and how we may be able to help you move forward.

Plus, lots more as we develop the service in the future! Watch this space!

How can I be involved?

Initially, most of our activities will be on-line. So, if you are interested in joining up with us, we need to add you to our distribution list. Please send your email address to:
NRGDSpeersupporters@cntw.nhs.uk

If you are not able to use email, please write or telephone us with your contact details, and we will include you.

You can write to us at:

  • NRGDS Peer Supporters, Benfield House, Walkergate Park Hospital, Benfield Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne, NE6 4QD

Or telephone us on:

  • 0191 287 6130 and ask for your message to be passed to the peer supporters

We will also publish all relevant information on the NRGDS website, so keep an eye open for this

We know that not everyone has an email address or use of a computer and it is important to us that everyone has access to the service. Therefore, as soon as it is safe to do so, we will be organising some in-person group and one-to-one sessions.

Tell us what you want!

We are currently planning a timetable of activities and are keen to hear from you with any suggestions for topics/focus you might find beneficial. Details of how to get in touch are given above.

When we organise events, we will ask you to book to attend whichever sessions are of use/interest to you – and we hope you will! This will help us to plan the service and respond to your needs more effectively.

Finally, this service is for you! So, we welcome your feedback on how best you feel we can support you and the activities/topics you want us to focus on. Please contact us with your ideas.

We look forward to meeting you!
Matt and Bev

PS: A quick disclaimer: We are here to support you in any way we can while you are waiting for your assessment. However, there are some things that we are not able to influence or change. For example:

  • Waiting List – the latest information on waiting times is available on the NRGDS website
    Use the box on the side of the page to choose the link for ‘frequently asked questions’. It’s the second question down. This information is updated regularly.
  • Hormone treatments – we cannot prescribe or advise on hormones. If you would like more information, leaflets are available on the NRGDS website
    Use the box on the side of the page to choose the link for ‘additional information. Hormone leaflets are near the bottom. Advice for prescribers is also available on the same page as above
  • Mental Health Crisis – we are not counsellors and are not able to provide emergency support in a crisis. If you need emergency mental health support please:
    – Contact your GP or
    – Attend your local Accident and Emergency Department or
    – Ring 999 for support.
  • You may also find the following organisations helpful:
    MIND – the Mental Health Charity – information and support, legal rights, guides to support services, helplines.
    The Samaritans Telephone: 116 123 – a safe place to talk any time you like.
  • A guide to other Gender Support Groups and Organisations offering a range of support services to transgender people is available on the NRGDS website
  • Use the box on the side of the page to choose the link for ‘additional information’. The support leaflet is at the top.