Doncaster woman who has experience of many things going wrong in her life now helps people in crisis
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Kim Boughton has been a Peer Support Worker at Safe Space in Doncaster, for 18 months. Safe Space is a Peer Supported Crisis Alternative Service that works in partnership with the Crisis Mental Health Team at Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH).
Set up in 2019, it was piloted for 12 weeks and the positive impact the project had meant that Safe Space stayed and went from strength to strength. Safe Space is part of an alliance with Doncaster Mind, Open Minds, Doncaster Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Service (DRASACS), NHS South Yorkshire Integrated Care Board, the People Focused Group, Doncaster Council and RDaSH. The team work 365 days a year from 2pm – 2am. Safe Space takes referrals from RDaSH’s Crisis Team, the police and from Yorkshire Ambulance Service.
The Peer Support Workers speak to people in a crisis due to a wide range of issues including relationship breakdown, homelessness, physical health conditions, domestic abuse, due to self-harm, who have suicidal thoughts and drug and alcohol use. Safe Space is a place where a person supported by the service can also get a food parcel up until midnight seven-days-a-week.
A small team of Peer Support Workers offer support via the phone, face to face or home visits.
On average 110 people are referred into the service a month. Between April 2022 and March 2023 over 12,000 calls were made.
Each person is offered a non-judgemental space to talk with the Safe Space workers. An individual plan is created with each person to work out what support can be offered to help them through their tough patch.
“We speak to the people referred to us and find out what is causing them distress,” explained Kim. “We help them create a plan which shows what they want to achieve but also what they need help with.”
Kim says she gets job satisfaction because she is able to use her lived experience to benefit others.
Kim added:” I love making a difference to people’s lives. One of the best rewards we have is when people tell us that they wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Safe Space.”