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Peer Support

Peer Support

How it works

Beyond Birth Living Library is a peer support programme. It aims to enhance the health and wellbeing of parents by facilitating an introduction and one-to-one contact between people who have lived through similar experiences.

A Living Library uses the concept of ‘living books’ – people with lived experience, working with ‘readers’ – people currently going through similar experiences, to help make sense of what they are going through.


A peer-to-peer programme can answer questions and offer support to help those on their journey through parenthood. It fills a gap that the medical model of postnatal care cannot always provide for.

This programme has been designed and developed with parents, grandparents, and health and care professionals.

All team members volunteer their free time to provide this service. The only exception is the NHS London Maternity Clinical Network funding available to remunerate the Service User Voices members’ time to support programme management.

Getting support

Get support

Receive support from a parent and from the Beyond Birth Living Library team, for free.

You will be:

  • Matched with a parent (or ‘living book’) who has had a similar birth experience to yours and can support you through your journey and answer your questions (All 'living books' have been through the NHS volunteer vetting process)

  • Offered weekly phone/virtual meetings of up to 40min together for a period of 4 to 6 weeks​ (requests for longer periods may be considered)

  • Supported to identify other resources that may be helpful to you

  • Part of a friendly community of like-minded people

Parent support
Offering support
Beyond Birth Living Library

Offer support

You will support parents, and we will support you.

We will provide:

  • Help to go through the NHS volunteer vetting process, which includes an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Services check

  • An online introductory programme, which includes a resource pack, an introduction session and 4 NHS learning modules

  • Regular support from the team, including through team debriefs and 1:1 meetings

  • An option to develop new skills, such as quality improvement work in healthcare

  • A reference (after six months as a peer supporter)

  • A friendly community of like-minded people

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