Improving mental health through peer support

The Side by Side campaign promotes mental health peer support within Lancashire. Connecting like-minded people, inspired to be there for others following their own experiences of mental health.  This page provides a platform for peer support groups within Lancashire to come together.

What is peer support?

Peer support is when people come together and use their own experiences to help each other. It’s happening everywhere.

Whether face-to-face or through technology, formal or informal, regular or infrequent, it can always help.

A vital part of peer support is mutual respect; peer support aims to help both those giving and receiving support. Agreeing a reason for meeting and ensuring everyone’s experiences are treated as equally important.

Download the Mind guide: making sense of peer support

Share your experiences

Through the Side by Side campaign we want to raise awareness of what peer support involves and how it has made a difference to people lives.

To do this, we need your help to gather personal stories about people’s experiences of giving and receiving peer support.

To get involved and tell us about your experiences please contact our admin team: – 01257 231660

Join the network

Improving access to peer support in Lancashire. There are already lots of great peer support groups with Lancashire but it’s sometimes difficult to find them. Together we can make it simple. With your help we can inspire more people to set up groups and be there for everyone.

Register your group

The map shows the number of groups within Lancashire that have already registered with us.

For details of these groups see the directory below

If you can’t find a group that’s right for you why not try Elefriends online, see below for details.


ARC Project – Blackburn
Weekly drop in providing an opportunity for the asylum and refugee community to come together and support each through sharing knowledge and experiences. – 01254 690282

Bi Polar Blackburn – Blackburn
The group is run by Bipolar UK and intended for people aged 18 and above. Meetings are lead by volunteers facilitators and if you’re aged between 16 and 18 you can attend accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Bi Polar Blackburn – Blackburn
The group is run by Bipolar UK and intended for people aged 18 and above. Meetings are lead by volunteers facilitators and if you’re aged between 16 and 18 you can attend accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Blackburn Carers Service – Blackburn
The group is run by the nhs carers service for carers who live with/look after someone with a Mental Health condition. The issues discussed are what are raised on the day by the carers themselves.

Blackburn Foodbank – Blackburn
Trussell Trust volunteers meet with clients over a cup of tea or free hot meal to share experiences, discuss their situations and signpost to further support.
03444 889 622 – Unit 6, Energy Zone, Newfield Drive, Blackburn BB2 3UA

Chrysalis – Blackburn
Chrysalis support groups meet at our Blackburn, Preston and Blackpool Centres.
All genders are welcome, not just trans women, and including those who are pre-transition. The group offers mutual support, transitioning advice and friendship.
01254 583032 –

Circles OCD – Blackburn
The group is a peer support group where individuals get together and talk about OCD. The group has a ‘Members Agreement’ which everyone needs to adhere to.

Dads Club – Blackburn
A peer support group for dads living in Blackburn. The group discuss a range of topics centred around mental health and wellbeing.
(awaiting contact details)

East Lancs Umbrella Society – Blackburn
The East Lancs Umbrella Society is a new social group for adults, which will provide a variety of activities, such as arts, crafts and table tennis. The group meet weekly and admission is £1 per person, which includes refreshments.
07739 518716 –

Facing Up Hopwood Court – Blackburn
A men’s peer support group run by Age UK. The group meet for a chat about a range of issues. A volunteer from Age UK is on hand and give men the t time and tools they need to get back on track. For full details contact Mark.
01254 692278 –

Garden Bud-dees – Darwen
A small independent volunteer led community gardening group promoting a healthy lifestyle by showing people how to grow their own food and benefit from exercise working on the allotment. Several members have achieved NVQ 1 in horticulture and are progressing onto Level 2.
Pam on 01254 704184 or 07866 879143 –

Relax and Chat – Blackburn
A fun group session where everybody is welcome. Come a long for a chat and join in with activities from bingo and dominoes to quizzes. A £1 charge is taken to cover costs.

Resolve – Blackburn
Resolve is a welcoming action group for local hate crime support in Blackburn with Darwen which gives people a chance to share their experiences of disability hate crime in a safe environment. Support to help people report hate crime is also available.
01254 292620 –

Women for Women – Blackburn with Darwen
The Inter Madrassah Organisation facilitate weekly sessions of 1.5 hours in community venues. The group focus on positive activities, getting out of the house, making friends, helping other women and discovering hidden strengths in a friendly, supportive and welcoming environment.

Adult Carers – Blackpool
The carers trust provide three confidential online chat forums for carers to connect with each other, share tips, share experiences and take time for themselves to have a rant or some fun. The forums are carers Space for 18+, Matter for 16-25 and Babble for under 18’s. Each of the forums have a team on hand every day of the week to monitor the environment and keep users safe.

Connect More – St. Annes
A social group for people who have experience of mental health issues to meet weekly in a relaxed friendly environment. An opportunity to have a have a natter, a brew and biscuit and enjoy art & crafts, board games. They group ask for a £2.50 p.w. donation to help with costs.

Hearing Voices – Blackpool and Cleveleys
Peer support groups for people who hear voices, see visions or have other unusual perceptions. The groups offer a safe haven where people who hear, see or sense things that other people don’t can feel accepted, valued and understood.

Hugs – Blackpool
The carers trust run a monthly support group for carers to meet up have a brew and a chat. –  01253 393748

Peer Support – Lancaster

An inclusive group for mild to enduring Mental Health difficulties. A drop in for casual callers with groups and classes for activities such as art and music and day trips holidays and healthy vegetarian meals. Free fruit, benefits help, signposting, housing referrals and subsidised beverages and snacks. One to one guidance and group support.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10am-4pm

Stanley Park Recreational Walking Group

A friendly, relaxed group who take their time to stroll around the park whilst having a good old chat, then stopping for a brew in the café. Meet just inside the gates to the park, (near the benches and covered area).  Walks last about an hour.

Thursdays, 1pm

Ten Pin Bowling Club

Enjoy bowling? Get yourself along to this friendly group to meet new friends, improve your skills and generally have a laugh. £2 a game.

Wednesdays and Fridays, meet at 10.15am, bowl from 10.30am – 11.30am

MFA bowl, Market Street, Blackpool.

Please note: if you are late the bowling club won’t let you join in.

All of Us – Buckshaw Village

All of Us is a community based mental health and wellbeing group. The principles of the group are based on providing hope and meaning and aims to help group members identify what a life worth living means to them, and then to support them in working towards achieving it. We believe that ongoing mental wellbeing is dependent on maintaining physical wellness, as well as healthy relationships and a sense of belonging within supportive communities. The group meets weekly at the Buckshaw Village Community Centre during school term times. There is time for a brew, a chat and an activity/talk each week. There is a varied programme that the group all have input into. All welcome.


You’ll find a friendly, safe space in which you can share as little or as much as you wish. Facilitated by trained volunteers, other members of the group will offer you their thoughts, feedback, tips, etc.
You too can offer a response to others’ sharing if you wish.
Members are encouraged to take away one positive thing from the group meeting to consider in the week ahead.
When the meeting closes at 9pm, you’re welcome to stay for a chat and a cuppa, we’ll chat about the football, news etc rather than the contents of the meeting. It’s an opportunity just to relax and chat.
You can find more information about this group at

If are you running a peer support group in these areas we would really like to hear from you.

Elefriends online

Elefriends is a supportive online community where you can be yourself. We all know what it’s like to struggle sometimes, but now there’s a safe place to listen, share and be heard.