Peer Support is a one-to-one meet-up service open to any student looking for a little extra company and connection during their time at St Andrews. It is part of StAnd Together, an initiative connected to both the Union and the University that focuses on student wellbeing and mutual support. The Peer Support Network is made up of student volunteers trained in active listening who are available to meet up for coffee, have regular chats, or attend society events with the students they are paired with.
How does Peer Support work?
Peer Support is a service for any student who is feeling lonely, in need of a little extra support, wants a fellow student to chat to, or even just wants someone to go to an event with. You can ask to be matched with a Peer Supporter at any time during term time. Here’s how the process works:
- Send an email to PeerSupport@st-andrews.ac.uk including:
- Your academic year
- The kind of support you would like (emotional support, someone to attend events with you, a one-time meetup, etc.)
- Your interests
- The Peer Support Coordinator will pair you with one of our lovely volunteers through a matching email. We may also ask for some extra information to help us make the best match.
- Your Peer Supporter will email you to arrange to meet up.
- The first time you meet with your Peer Supporter, you will discuss how you would like your relationship to work. This includes what you want to get out of the programme, but also things like how you interact if you bump into each other outside of your pre-planned meetings, how you want to tell others you met if they ask, and whether you’d like to be connected on social media.
- You can then continue to meet with your Peer Supporter for as long as you’d like! Most of the students using Peer Support choose to meet with their Peer Support around once per week, but this can be adapted to your needs.
If things don’t work out with the Peer Supporter you are initially matched with, please let the Coordinator know (by emailing PeerSupport@st-andrews.ac.uk) and we will pair you with a new volunteer.
Peer Support offers Active Listening workshops for individuals, societies, subcommittees, and other student groups!
These workshops are aimed at individuals who either require this training for a role or who are interested in learning a new and valuable skill. They are one-hour long workshops that teach valuable active listening and signposting skills, providing a safe space to talk about handling certain situations.
To register your interest or for more information, please email PeerSupport@st-andrews.ac.uk.
Projects & Events
In the past year, Peer Support have been invited to host quiet/safe rooms alongside student events where potentially distressing topics were discussed, such as panel discussion events or guest speaker events. This has been an opportunity for our trained Peer Support volunteers to provide a little bit of extra support and comfort to students.
We also often hold Speed-Friending events to help connect the student body in new ways, especially during times like Freshers and Refreshers Week when students may be looking for new ways to make friends.
Peer Support is currently recruiting new volunteers—applications will remain open all summer! All students going into their second year or above are welcome to apply, and no previous experience is necessary. Find out more here.
Know someone you think would make a great Peer Supporter? Send them an anonymous nudge to apply!
Applications are also open for several roles on the Peer Support committee, including Workshop Coordinator, Publicity Officer, and Secretary. Find out more here.