Addiction, Health, Behaviour Change | CGL

Peer mentoring

Peer mentors work alongside staff and volunteers in the majority of our services. They play a vital role in helping service users to change their lives for the better

Peer mentors may be people in recovery, people who are stable on medication, people who have left treatment, or people who have had personal experience of supporting a loved one through treatment.

Many of the people who come to our services are nervous and unsure what to expect. So peer mentors, who have been through treatment and had first-hand experience of the challenges of entering recovery can offer them friendly support and guidance to help them engage.

As a peer mentor you will be a positive role model for people trying to tackle their problems and will be able to show them that change is possible.

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    Peer mentors can offer friendly support and guidance 

"I didn’t have much belief in myself and I had to force myself to do it, but I trusted my supervisor and pushed on. Now I have a paid job in a hostel I once lived in. I really have been given a second chance at life."
Gabi - former peer mentor
Read Gabi's story >

What skills and qualifications do I need?

You don’t need any specific qualifications to be a peer mentor as we will provide all the training and support you need to feel comfortable and capable in your new role. You just need to be passionate about getting involved in this field.

Being a peer mentor is a fantastic challenge. You will learn lots of new things and develop additional skills and you will gain the satisfaction of knowing you have helped others to change their lives for the better.

What do peer mentors do?

Your specific role will depend on your interests and how you can best use your experiences to support others.

Some things you might do:

  • Welcome people to services and explain what goes on

  • Talk to people one-to-one about their concerns and needs

  • Lead social groups like breakfast clubs, theatre groups and sports clubs
  • Help organise and run community events to raise awareness of what we do and maybe give talks about our work if you feel comfortable doing so
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    You will learn lots of new things and develop additional skills

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    Your specific role will depend on your interests

"Even though the staff are excellent, so many people say that speaking to someone who understands exactly what they’re going through gives them a little something extra. It’s also a really important part of my recovery too."

Training and development

Many of our peer mentors undertake an accredited learning course leading to a Level 2 Diploma in Progression. However, we also offer peer mentoring opportunities for those who don’t wish to study for a qualification or perhaps have literacy needs.

For those who do wish to develop their skills further, there are opportunities to move across and take on new challenges as a volunteer or in a paid role. Many of our staff are former peer mentors so you might also find that this is a good step towards a future career.

Watch this clip from our film, 'Changing Lives at HMP Belmarsh', which shows how working as peer mentor helped Lee overcome his addiction to drugs and alcohol. ​

Getting support from a peer mentor

If you are currently accessing one of our services or you’re thinking of popping in for some help and you would prefer to speak to a peer mentor, please get in touch with your local service to discuss your preferences and we will do everything we can to accommodate you.   

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    Many of our staff are former peer mentors 

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    You have the opportunity to study for a qualification

Find out more
If you have experience of alcohol or drugs, are in recovery or stable and have some time to give, we would love to hear from you. Please contact your local service to find out more.