"I manage a team of peer mentors. They’re just like any other Change Grow Live mentors except for one big difference: they’re in prison. It’s so rewarding to be able to see someone’s journey and their personal growth - you see it making a massive difference to the individuals they are supporting and to the mentors' self-esteem. We have mentors on every wing supporting individuals who may be struggling with substance misuse, they also support our team in co-facilitating and preparing group work and awareness sessions.
As well as supporting the mentors it’s my job to create a community within the four walls of the prison. One way we do this is to bring the community in. We hold awareness events and training sessions with guest speakers from the community and attend the family days promoting visible recovery. This allows the families to know more about our service and the progress their loved one is making.
It’s about building normality and stability for the men within their own community. As a team, we foster a non-judgemental approach to promote recovery and inclusion for all. We focus on the individual and their needs, not what brought them to prison. Obviously it’s a serious environment but there’s actually a really fun element which we try to incorporate within our group work and 1:1 sessions to create an enjoyable learning experience. The staff are great – they’re all so supportive of the work that the team does."