The Community Peer Mentors were the initiative of the previous Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner the late Ron Hogg CBE in 2015; however, funding continues under Joy Allen’s leadership as the Durham Police and Crime Commissioner and the scheme has grown exponentially. Joy said: “It is great to hear the positive impact the Community Peer Mentors have within the local community and how it has led to a demand reduction on frontline services.’’ Mentors are motivated and enthusiastic volunteers from the local community who support vulnerable, isolated people affected by significant life changing events, whether victims, survivors, perpetrators, or those forgotten by society, who through unfulfilled needs become reliant on services. Joy said: “I thank all those volunteers who continue to keep the scheme running for the people of County Durham and Darlington. The mentors offer unique support to each client, with the aim to leave individuals feeling safer and inspire confidence.
You can find out more here: https://www.durham-pcc.gov.uk/get-involved/volunteers
We aim empower change, reduce vulnerability and provide a voice for the unheard, this fantastic support is given to anyone whatever their background or circumstances, whether victim, survivor, perpetrator, prison leaver or someone forgotten or neglected by society; so long as they wish to change the support will be provided. This unique approach has seen on average an 81% reduction in contact with services, reduced offending and hospital admissions, assisted reintegration back into society, people in disappear returning to employment and education, learning new skills and coping technique’s, identifying without this support they would have taken their own lives.
You will receive briefings from areas coordinators on any new client and initially engage and build a rapport over the phone; you will identify any needs, wants, concerns, fear or issues your client may have and take the area coordinators to sort this out ready for your next call. Should you wish to meet your client when the time is right this will be arranged, and visits arrange with a coordinator and the client to ensure all are safe and happy. All we ask is that we are updated with an email explaining what interactions have taken place and the main topics of conversation.
We are looking for kind hearted, practical and innovative people who want to help and can get things done. We actively recruit people as volunteers from across the whole of society, so whatever your background, or experiences please contact us; just because you have had a colourful past does not exclude you from helping others.
This is bespoke to every mentor and will be discussed with the manager and coordinators; the volunteers are the backbone and we want you to always be happy, safe and in control, so you tell us what works best for you.
No previous experience in volunteering or supporting people is required; all we need is your enthusiasm and willingness to help others. Training will be arranged and as part of the selection process there are some dedicated training.
Community Peer Mentors engage with clients to identify the root cause of any issues, thereby empowering and encouraging the client to reintegrate back into the community.
Travel and out of pocket expenses will be paid to volunteers when supporting clients.
Ongoing and additional training provided free of charge.
No set hours: whatever suits you and the client
Joining an organisation who have just been awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service, which is the MBE for voluntary groups, so very exciting. Buckingham Palace state, ‘Volunteer groups all over the UK and represent grassroots volunteering at its very best. They show the many ways in which committed bands of volunteers are working to make things better for everyone in the local community and getting alongside those who are struggling.’
You have the opportunity to learn new skills which will benefit you as well as clients you support.
Our training will be held across County Durham and Darlington, delivered by qualified and experienced facilitators. We offer a one day ‘taster’ session which should you wish to join us is followed by some ‘top up training’. The training provides opportunities to learn using various different mentoring techniques.
We need people with life experiences so whatever your background, whatever has happened in your life do not let this be a barrier to YOU applying.
No age limits on people who wish to be Community Peer Mentors.
You choose which areas within County Durham or Darlington you want to support clients
You will have direct support from our Area Coordinators
Access to free safeguarding training
Continuous and ongoing support
The opportunity for you to access support if required