Milestone 1000 Referrals for Peer Support Service

2020 Peer Support Service Group

The 1000th referral was received for the Peer Support Service in October – a major milestone since the service began operating in 2019.

The first referral for a new amputee patient was received in August 2019 and by the end of October 2023 there had been 1019 referrals received.

The service, adapted from the Australian Limbs 4 Life model for peer support, provides informal support to those adapting to limb loss by matching them to trained supporters. It was set up by Claire Rumble in 2019 and a year later was handed over to Matt Bryson to coordinate and to also run activity days for amputees.

A group of Auckland-based amputees are prepared for supporting fellow amputees.

The first volunteer group trained in Auckland in 2019.

“We are all incredibly proud of our peer support efforts and growing impact of the activity days. Thank you, Matt, for your efforts and everyone else who has supported and continues to support this important work,” says Chief Executive Officer Sean Gray.

The Peer Support Service is offered to new amputees and is provided by 104 volunteers who have been amputees for at least three years. They undergo reference and Police checks and participate in a specially designed training day.

Peer Support Service is offered to all amputees referred to our prosthetic services and 75% of them take up the offer. Besides internal referrals from Peke Waihanga clinical staff, referrals are also made by external clinicians including those working in hospitals. Since its inception, the Peer Support Service has been expanded to include partners of amputees and those at risk of amputation. Service users report a 4.5 out of 5 satisfaction rating for the service they received.

Palmerston North-based amputees who have completed their training.

The most recent volunteer group trained in Palmerston North in September this year.

From the start, an advisory group has offered expertise during both for its initial establishment and its continued operation. The group includes previous Amputee Federation representative Mark Bruce, Limbs 4 Life founder Melissa Noonan, volunteer and Rākau Rangatira Māori Cultural Advisor Ken Te Tau, Matt Bryson and National Office advisors Claire Rumble and Kim Moore.