Giving deaf pupils
a helping hand
Helping Hands is a new project run by the National Deaf Children’s
Society which will set up peer support schemes for deaf young people
aged 10-18 at schools in London, the Midlands and the North East.
What is a peer support scheme?
In a peer support scheme children are trained to act as ‘Peer Buddies’
who give help and support to other pupils.
Peer Buddies can:
• help new pupils settle in at school,
• listen to other children’s experiences and have a chat,
• give support on practical things such as managing schoolwork.
The aim of peer support is to create a supportive environment where
young people can tackle issues in a positive and productive way.
It is not about counselling or telling people what to do.
Why is peer support important?
Peer support is particularly important for deaf children and young
people. This is because they:
• are four times more likely to experience mental health problems
than other children,
• are vulnerable to isolation, bullying and poor self-esteem without
the right support.
Peer support can also have a positive impact on the school
environment as it helps to:
• reduce bullying,
• promote positive self-esteem and emotional wellbeing,
• increase motivation, self confidence and the potential for
• promote a stronger school community and participation in school
How will NDCS support the scheme?
• give training to Peer Buddies so that they understand their roles,
• provide monthly support and monitoring for teachers.
We only ask that teachers help to champion peer support at
their school and act as first point of contact for Peer Buddies. All
participating schools will be given support so that they can run their
own peer support schemes in future.
Trust between a peer and their Buddy is a very important part of the
peer support scheme. For this reason, a Peer Buddy would not be
expected to tell the school about the conversations they have with
Peer Buddies must break confidentiality, however, if someone is
at risk. It is important they understand how important this is and
that systems are in place to ensure that the peer support process is
always a safe one.
NDCS will provide clear guidelines around confidentiality during the
peer buddy training.
For more information about the Helping Hands
project or the work of NDCS please email
JR0235 professionals • The National Deaf Children’s Society is a registered charity in England & Wales (1016532) and in Scotland (SC040779)
The Helping Hands project is funded by The National Lottery through Big Lottery Fund