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Call 020 7976 3575 or email


Dr Libby McEnhill
T 0207 976 3504

Roundtable on peer support for employment and health outcomes

Wednesday, 03 February 2016
10:00 - 12:00
The Work Foundation, 21 Palmer Street, London, SW1H 0AD

There is a growing body of evidence of the value of peer support for people living with long-term health conditions or disability, and particularly mental health conditions. Such support is associated with a number of health and social outcomes – including reduced hospital admissions, an increased sense of independence and empowerment, and higher self esteem, confidence, social connectedness and community integration. We explored these issues in more detail.

Peer support is also increasingly seen as valuable for employment outcomes. It has been developed by organisations led by disabled people and people living with long-term health conditions; and is sometimes used in employment support services to help people to find work, as well as in workplaces to support job retention and progression. However, currently, evidence on this is fairly small scale and fragmented. Given the current policy goal of halving the disability employment gap and the focus on ‘what works’ in terms of helping people with long term health conditions to get into, remain in, and progress in work, we propose it would be of great value to try to build the evidence base around peer support for employment outcomes.

To this end, The Work Foundation and Disability Rights UK held a roundtable event to bring together a range of subject experts to identify the key issues and discuss how we might take this forward.  We are inviting a range of experts – including disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), policy-makers, employment support providers, peer support specialists and employers - to attend the event to ensure we get wide ranging input. Given your knowledge and experience, we hope that you would be interested and able to attend.

Speakers included:

  • Justin Tomlinson, Minister of State for Disabled People
  • Liz Sayce, CEO, Disability Rights UK
  • Ross Smith, SPECTRUM Centre for Independent Living
  • Rachel Perkins - ImROC
  • Dr Libby McEnhill, Researcher, The Work Foundation

Please see presentations from


Further notes of the meeting and next steps to follow.

Back to forthcoming events