© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore features of successful peer supported community support groups hosted by St Mungo's and partners. Design/methodology/approach - Literature review and theme construction. Findings - Overall the review confirmed existing findings that successful support groups foster mutually supportive, reciprocal relationships capable of inspiring hope among group members. This paper will concentrate on findings that co-production was indicative of successful groups in terms of shared aims, negotiated agendas, clear communication, and engagement with the wider community. Research limitations/implications - A group's success was seen in terms of growth in members' self-esteem, empowerment, and optimism, which this paper proposes could become part of a conceptual framework of a learning organisational culture. Originality/value - Developing understanding of a rapidly growing phenomenon in community-based mental health care and presenting this in terms of a particular organisational culture.