Peer mentors are people who have experienced problems with alcohol or drugs, are in recovery, and are willing to give their time, compassion and expertise to support others who may be struggling.
There are so many benefits to having peer mentors. Many of the people who come to us feel a bit nervous about getting help for alcohol or drugs and don’t know what to expect. Our peer mentors do an amazing job of putting them at ease, talking them through the process and answering any questions or concerns they might have.
They also really know their stuff. Their first-hand experience of the challenges of giving up alcohol or drugs means they’re perfectly placed to give friendly support and guidance to people who are new to our services (and is the reason why we end up recruiting so many of our peer mentors to work with us full time).
Watch this clip from our film, 'Changing Lives at HMP Belmarsh', in which Lee talks about his experiences as a peer mentor, which helped him overcome his addition to drugs and alcohol.
What our peer mentors do
The role of a peer mentor varies depending on the individual’s interests and experience. We try our best to make sure that every peer mentor has exciting, challenging work that makes the very best of their skills. Many of our peer mentors lead creative groups like breakfast clubs, theatre groups and sports clubs, whilst others provide support on a one-to-one basis or work on reception welcoming people into our services.
They help us to organise and run community events, often acting as spokespeople at internal and external events to help raise awareness of the challenges our service users face. They also hold us to account, pushing us to improve the quality of our service, suggesting improvements and being a sounding board for new ideas.
"Being a Peer Mentor means so much to me as I’m in a position to help others through their recovery journey. Plus it also helps me to maintain and grow within my own recovery.
I get a lot of joy out of being a Peer Mentor as I get to help other people with the problems that they are facing. I am also in a position where I can share my own experience in recovery and also learn a lot from others stories."
CGL volunteer, HMP Belmarsh
Becoming a peer mentor
If you have experience of alcohol or drugs, are in recovery and have some time to give, we would love to hear from you. You don’t need any qualifications or specific skills - we’ll provide all the training and support you need to feel comfortable in your new role. Please contact your local service to find out more.
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.