Peerfest17, Bristol | ZiaBia

Peerfest17, Bristol

Peerfest is an annual national event, started in 2013 and supported by Mind - the Mental Health Charity. Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They also campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding of mental health, in England and Wales.

270 People
We the Curious
Bristol, England

Peerfest's aim is to celebrate the importance of peer support. A peer is a valuable part of the charities network where in a peer uses their own experiences of mental health to help others, using community groups, mentoring, self-help and support groups to connect with each other.

For the last three years a nationwide tender was launched for the event. Bristol Independent Mental Health Network and Changes Bristol won the right to host and deliver Peerfest17. The event was therefore held in Bristol at We The Curious (formerly known as @Bristol) in the Waterfront area.

On Monday 9th October 2017, approximately 270 peers came together to be treated to a varied, fun and inspirational event. This included a mix of stalls, interesting workshops, creative and interactive activities and thought-provoking debate. It also included The Marsh Awards, which recognises excellence in mental health peer support. This is a chance for peers to network and share their knowledge.

Working with ZiaBia has been amazing. They bring an approach that is so flexible and professional. Their wealth of knowledge and expertise has been invaluable to the national and local teams, having truly enriched the planning and delivery of Peerfest as a national event. We look forward to working together again in 2018.

Duncan Marshall
Mind Engagement Team

How Did ZiaBia fit into the picture?

The cross-organisational Peerfest National Planning Team, facilitated by Mind, oversees the Peerfest events. ZiaBia were asked to join this team in the summer of 2016, on a consultancy basis. Our role involved evaluation of the Peerfest16 event and actively working alongside the National Planning team looking at a 5 year plan going forward.

This work then continued, as our involvement with Peerfest17 was even bigger. We were engaged as a support to the groups who were looking to tender, where we were able to offer guidance with their respective tender submissions from an event management perspective. Once the tender process was complete and had been awarded to the successful organisations in Bristol, we were also asked to join the Local Planning Team for 2017.

We were involved in local planning meetings and site inspections ahead of the day. Our role did become more hands on in the latter stages of the process, both during the pre-event planning and onsite and we managed the registration desk, arrival process and name badges, as well as supporting with negotiating rates and contracting for the venue, the catering team, the AV team, entertainment and filming of the event.

We are now looking forward to 2018 and beyond. ZiaBia are extremely proud and honoured to have provided our services to this incredible celebration of peer support.