Peer Support for Businesses and Professionals – Community Hub Launch



The first Community Hub Day in Hitchin was a resounding success! We started early in the day with coffee and conversations.

During the first morning session, we discussed the benefits of building a resilient community using Peer Support. We described the ethos of the hub and the development of an effective Peer Supported environment. For a summary of that discussion see

In brief, Peer Support is rooted in the principles of partnership whereby each participant gives and receives attention and mutual support. They are able to identify, engage and make use of their own resources, in order to get their needs met within the safe space of the group or partnership.

Structured Peer Support is used in many fields. We use it in both structured and informal ways, to support Business and People Matters.

In the afternoon session at the Community Hub, we explored the theme once again, with an emphasis on Career, Business and Study. Within the group, were individuals currently engaged in a cross section of occupations including – Business Startup; Sole Traders; Researchers; Community Project Planners; and others in Employed roles. It gave us an opportunity to demonstrate how the hub will be useful to a wider range of people within the Community.

As a group we thought about and discussed our current needs within our Business, Career, and Research Projects. The list we produced was fairly extensive and included a broad range of suggestions. These included: Contacts sharing and Referrals; Strategy – planning and realising a visions; Mentoring, Learning and Education opportunities; Sharing of resources/ office space; IT support; and Affiliate and Incentive schemes.

The idea of Peer Support was envisioned quite clearly, the potential to create a genuinely collaborative environment wherein people can exchange their specialist knowledge and skills with each other. Somewhere people can go to whether they are brand new to business or well established, both to give and receive support in areas in which they may require some assistance or the advice and guidance of a well ‘informed friend’.

Again, when we trawled the room and focused back on the general needs of the group, it seems that, regardless of whether we people are currently running businesses, growing careers, or researching community projects, our general needs are the same.

People wish to have access to more people. We wish to be having good conversations and building resilient and trusting relationships with each other. People are interested in fostering a genuinely collaborative environment rather than feeling in competition. We want to put a friendly face to business.

Ultimately the role of the hub, as we have already said, is to support people to grow within their Personal, Business and Career lives. To share information, knowledge and skills and to know that there is somewhere we can go where this will all happen.

I was very pleased that the sessions throughout the hub day corroborated the current Community Hub vision, and went some way towards clarifying and demonstrating how this all might happen as the months unfold! It is exciting stuff !

We would appreciate your responses, comments and feedback regarding aspects of the Community Hub which you can leave here and also on our contact form:

Please contact Emma Jaynes for more information on : emmajaynes@virginmedia.comor 07791 520388

Our next event is on 21st July:

The next Hitchin Hub Day will take place in the Sun Hotel on Thursday 11th August from 8.30am. More information and schedule to follow.


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