Retreat Peer Specialist

29th May 2024

Retreat Peer Specialist

We are recruiting for Retreat Peer Specialists to work at the Dorchester service, who will work alongside clinicians with visitors who are seeking support to avoid a crisis or feel that they have already reached crisis point.

The primary focus of this work will be to support visitors by listening in a respectful and non-judgemental way. Rather than taking the traditional approach of focusing on an illness, we focus on what is important to the visitor.

The core tasks of the Retreat Peer Specialist will be:

  • Working 1-2-1 with individuals who attend the Retreat in a trauma informed way,
  • Supporting visitors in the café space by promoting Recovery, Safety and Social Inclusion.
  • Work as part of a multi-disciplinary team to create an environment that promotes shared humanity and enables safe working practice.
  • Signpost visitors to appropriate support within health and social care services and the wider voluntary sector to support them to better manage and prevent a crisis.
  • Work in partnership with emergency services and the broader Mental Health System to support warm handovers and reduce barriers.
  • Engage in reflective practice through attending debriefs, supervision and training.
  • Manage your wellbeing at work, ensuring that you model recovery in all aspects of your role.
  • Maintain boundaries and safe working practices at all times, in line with operating guidance, policies and procedures.
  • Maintain accurate records where required, following information security and GDPR best practice.
  • Be proficient in the use of IT to enable provision of digital support and use of clinical systems.

In addition to working with Retreat visitors, Partnership Working is a key part of the Retreat Peer Specialist role:

This post will be based at Retreat West, 30 Maiden Castle Road, Dorchester. You may also occasionally be required to work at our Retreat East service in Bournemouth.

Times of work will be: 4.00pm – midnight.

About You

As a Peer Specialist, you will have a good understanding of managing your own health and wellbeing at work, as well as having experience of supporting others. You will have exceptional interpersonal skills and be confident in communicating with people at all levels of an organisation.

  • You will have demonstrable experience of intentional use of lived experience within a previous job role. Alongside previous experience working in an educational, mental health, or care setting.
  • You will have experience and understanding of living with and managing mental health issues or supporting someone in emotional distress, including understanding the barriers to recovery and believing in a person’s right to fulfil their potential.
  • You will have completed a Peer Specialist training programme or be willing to undertake this training.
  • You will have knowledge and an understanding of Safeguarding adults and children processes and procedures.
  • You will have exceptional timekeeping and interpersonal skills, whilst having the ability to work on your own initiative and also collaborate as part of the team.
  • You will embody the Forum’s Vision, Purpose and Values.

We will be reviewing applications and shortlisting on an ongoing basis, closing the process when we have appointed the right candidates.

Job Type: Part-time

Pay: £12.59-£13.47 per hour

Expected hours: 8 – 30 per week


  • Company pension
  • Free or subsidised travel
  • Health & wellbeing programme
  • On-site parking
  • Sick pay


  • 8 hour shift
  • Monday to Friday
  • Weekend availability


  • Health and Social care: 1 year (preferred)

Work Location: In person

About Dorset Mental Health Forum

We are a values led charity and collective of people who have chosen to reframe our experiences of mental health difficulties and trauma, to support, inspire and educate others. We influence the design and delivery of local mental health services and run projects across Dorset independently and in Partnership with NHS colleagues and local communities. The Forum has a proud and long history of employing a diverse workforce with a broad range of experiences including trauma, emotional distress and managing mental health issues.

About the Project

The Retreat is delivered in partnership between the Forum and Dorset HealthCare through the Wellbeing and Recovery Partnership. The Retreat is an open access crisis service within the Access Mental Health Pathway. The purpose of the Retreat is to provide a safe and welcoming environment for people to access support for a self-defined crisis. Peer specialists work as part of a multi-disciplinary team and bring the expertise of an intentional use of lived experience, alongside the clinical expertise of their NHS colleagues. A trauma informed, strengths-based recovery model underpins our work within the Retreats, as we walk alongside our visitors in order to give them back a sense of safety.

How to Apply
Please apply by sending an up-to-date CV and a covering letter with your application here:

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