Celebrating our Peer Supporters

priority-edivolunteers week
Six interlinking hands, holding on to each other's wrists.

Our Peer Support service has, over the last 23 years, filled a support gap which is now also filled by Talk Campus. As such, we are winding down the OU Students Association Peer Support service, which will formally close on 31 July.

We are extremely grateful to every Supporter and all others involved who, over the years, have given their time to volunteer and provide a service that has made a positive difference to so many students.

The Peer Support service started in the year 2000, likely the first of its kind for OU students, bringing peer support for those struggling with motivation.

Since then, over 50 trained volunteer supporters have interacted with almost 1,000 students via forums, email and Facebook. The service has adapted over the years, including a break in 2018 when it was reviewed, enhanced and re-launched to ensure we continued to meet the needs of students in an ever-changing online environment. Since the relaunch, Peer Supporters have also provided one-to-one support via email for 107 students.

Feedback from students includes:

"My Peer Supporter has helped me through times where I have felt very low and isolated..."

"My Peer Supporter has been such an incredible source of support and kindness while I am having a difficult time. I am so thankful that I have accessed this service…."

"My Peer Supporter had been incredibly dedicated to making sure that I have the highest chance of passing my module. Thank you."

In return, Peer Supporters themselves commented:

"I loved my first OU degree, everything about it… I wanted to give something back to students who weren't finding it such a positive experience."

"The role has exceeded my expectations and enabled me to add additional roles as I have progressed with my studies, revitalising my confidence in my skills and abilities."

"…I feel it's a really good service and I feel proud to be associated with it."

We'd like to give a huge thank you to our Peer Supporters past and present, and everyone else who has helped to make the Peer Support service a success.