COVID-19 Peer Support Project

© Ellie Zahedi @ellaiu
Want to be trained as a peer supporter?
  • Take part in a free week-long Peer Support online training course
  • Receive a certificate as a trained peer supporter from Youth Era and the University of Oxford
  • Report on your experiences to support research
  • £15 voucher offered as a thank you for filling the study’s questionnaires
Limited spaces. Sign up info here.



Participants must:
  • Be aged 16–18 years (priority will be given to Year 13 students)
  • Be a UK resident
  • Be happy to be randomly allocated to one of the 5-day training courses in June
  • Have sufficient English level to be able to follow the course
  • Be able to complete the training and questionnaires independently
  • Have access to stable Wi-Fi for the duration of the course
  • Have access to a computer, camera, speakers and microphone for the duration of the course
If you’re not eligible for this project, but would like to stay informed about more opportunities to take part in research, work experience, or other activities by joining our mailing list here.



The Peer Support Training Course is a week-long online programme that will teach you key strategies to support your peers going through difficult times.

  • 4h/day Monday-Friday
  • Led by a team of experienced peer support experts at Youth Era
  • Inspiring talks, testimonies from peer supporters and a range of hands-on activities (small group discussions, role-play)

Topics include:

  • Active listening and rapport building
  • Self-care and coping with COVID-19
  • Coaching techniques

… and many more!

This course will:

  • Introduce you to other supportive youth
  • Strengthen your personal and professional growth
  • Help you make a difference in your community during this challenging time.


COVID-19 presents diverse challenges for young people. When we consulted young people about their needs during this time, they reported feeling lonely and disconnected from their friends and community.
Young people often look to their peers for support, and many would also like to provide support but feel they lack the skills to do so. In response, we have planned this project to equip young people with skills to help others effectively.
The project is led by the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford with partners at YouthEra, the McPin Foundation and Imperial College London, as well as a dedicated Young People’s Advisory Group.





Youth Era – Peer Support Training Leads 


The McPin Foundation – Youth Engagement Leads

Young Person’s Advisory Group

Admin Support





The project is funded by HEIF, ESRC, IAA, The Economic, Social, Cultural & Environmental Impacts of Covid-19 – Urgent Response Fund.
Contact: Gabriela Pavarini
Phone: +447599480095
Address: Department of Psychiatry Warneford Hospital Oxford OX3 7JX Email:

Project Members

Gabriela Pavarini
Vanessa Bennett
Geoffrey Mawdsley
Coleman Yorke