Three years ago, I received an email telling me about a 4 (Peer Education) weekend training that was happening in LaSER. I had never heard of Peer Education before but I decided to just go for it and signed myself up for the weekend anyway… I’m so glad that I did! Years on and I can honestly say it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life- I have delivered some very interesting sessions to a diverse group of girls in my county. But I still don’t think that Peer Education is very well known and this is a huge shame as it means that lots of young women are missing out on the opportunity to develop vital communications skills and have fun!
There is a lot of information on Girlguiding’s website about Peer Education but I think it would help to hear from some real-life Peer Educators themselves, so I asked some of them to tell me their favourite thing about running the sessions- here are some of their answers:
“It really is incredible to see how much the girls’ confidence grows, even over just one session!”
“It’s a lot of fun running the sessions with them and it’s highly rewarding (you feel a real sense of accomplishment).”
“It allows us to see the girls grow and engage in difficult topics whilst having fun and joining in the activities.”
“Not only do the girls learn valuable skills, but you also get to see things from a different perspective and can explore their opinions on a variety of topics.”
“The themes you cover such as Breaking Free or Think Resilient can be quite challenging (especially when it is up to you to lead the discussion!), but I always had the support and guidance that I felt I needed. “
My favourite part of being a Peer Educator is adapting all the different activities to suit the different groups of girls and then delivering them. Your first session is always scary- I delivered Free Being Me to my local Brownie group and I had every five minutes planned out in a list that I had typed up! Needless to say, it didn’t exactly go according to my plan as some activities ran over but by the time I had delivered it, I just thought on my feet and changed the session.
I hope that this has encouraged you to think about becoming a Peer Educator (or asking one to come to your unit)- it’s a really great opportunity and a lot of fun too!
*A special thank you to the lovely Peer Educator Facebook group who contributed comments to this article!*