What is peer education?

Find out what it's all about

18 July 2022

Peer educators are 14-to-25-year-olds who help Brownies, Guides and Rangers explore important topics, like self-esteem, safety and gender stereotypes.

It’s a girl-led programme that’s proven to work because girls want to listen to their peers. Peer educators are trained to run fun, safe and challenging sessions, which we’ve developed with expert partners, in units.

Peer educators currently run four different sessions:

  • Think Resilient: giving girls the tools to build their mental well-being. Developed with YoungMinds
  • Free Being Me: growing girls' body confidence and self-esteem. Developed with WAGGGS and the Dove Self-Esteem Project.
  • Breaking Free: giving girls the tools to challenge gender stereotypes. Developed with expert academics, CEOs and charities.
  • Safe the world: helping members make a stand for safety. Developed with charity experts and police officers.

‘Being a peer educator means being able to know that whilst the girls are taking part in activities that are fun, they are also being taught something that is really important such as; how to deal with harassment or body issues,’ says peer educator Lauren.

‘I enjoy being a peer educator as it helps begin the conversation and then learning tactics to help combat these topics that they may use in the future and coming from someone that you may see yourself in helps reinforce these ideas!’

Before they lead sessions in units, peer educators are trained.

‘We learnt news skills on how to communicate peer to peer to different aged groups, how to deal with safeguarding and safety, how to manage challenging behaviour, how to organise facilitate and then reflect on a session,’ says Clare. ‘It was such great fun, and everyone should think about becoming a peer educator for the knowledge on new topics and the life skills you gain!’

Once peer educators are trained, units in their area can invite them to lead a session. Behind the scenes, they’re supported by peer education coordinators who link leaders and peer educators together to organise sessions, support peer educators to shout about their skills and arrange sessions locally and encourage Rangers to get involved with peer education.

They also coach and mentor peer educators, make sure that your peer educators get their badges and help set up training events for new peer educators.

‘It is such an amazing time to see girls as young as seven begin to learn about these issues and take part in active discussion with ideas that you may never have thought of, unleashing a creative side in each of them which is truly amazing to see,’ says Lauren.

‘I enjoy being a peer educator as it helps begin the conversation and then learning tactics to help combat these topics that they may use in the future and coming from someone that you may see yourself in helps reinforce these ideas!’

Find our more about peer education and, if your aged 14 to 25, find out how you can become a peer educator.