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New volunteering opportunities in Durham City and Chester-le-Street, to join expanding Community Peer Mentors scheme

Community Peer Mentor project-web

Image: Community Peer Mentor Project logo

KIND-HEARTED people who are keen to make a difference by volunteering to help vulnerable and isolated people are being sought from the Durham City and Chester-le-Street areas.

The Community Peer Mentor scheme, which welcomes people from all backgrounds, is expanding across more towns and villages throughout County Durham and Darlington. It has proven to be extremely rewarding for existing volunteers who have helped to change people’s lives.

The free-of-charge training will take place in August, giving volunteers the opportunity to gain new skills, interests and qualifications. 

Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) Ron Hogg said: “This project is expanding rapidly which is fantastic news for the people of County Durham and Darlington. We already have nearly 80 volunteers who are now trained as Mentors.

“This is unique opportunity is available for people from all walks of life, to learn new skills and be part of a great team, whilst making a real difference to those who feel vulnerable and isolated in our communities.”

Once trained, Community Peer Mentors work with individuals in pairs to find the reasons behind their behaviour or why they feel the way they do, and encourage them to find ways to get the help and support they need. Existing volunteer mentors within this unique project have found it a rewarding experience to help others when they need it most.

No previous experience in volunteering or supporting people is needed, as training is provided. There is no upper age restriction and relevant travel expenses will be paid when engaging with a client.

Mentors also have the opportunity to gain BTEC and NVQ qualifications as part of their voluntary work and numerous opportunities including Safeguarding and Mental Health Training. You must be available for training on both days, which takes place at:

  • Location: Army Reserve Centre, The Gilesgate Armoury, Gilesgate, Durham, DH1 1JR
  • Times and dates: 0930-1630hrs on Wednesday 16th & Thursday 17th August 2017

Parking will be available.

For further information about the training, please contact Jim Cunningham, Liz O’Hern or Susan Abson on telephone: 01325 405565, or jim.cunningham@restorativehub.org.uk.

- ENDS

Notes to Editors

  1. Once trained, the ‘Community Peer Mentor’ can choose if they would like to engage with clients in areas closer to where they live. The level of training required will depend on a volunteer’s experience, expertise and qualifications.
  2. The course is delivered by a professional in coaching and mentoring, and provides an opportunity for experiential learning, using techniques including role play, large group discussions and creative exercises.
  3. The feedback from recent volunteers includes: ‘Always interesting and informative’ -‘Very Good’ – ‘Easy to understand’ - ‘Met more than my expectations’ – ‘Brilliant’ - ‘Felt comfortable and able to talk’ and ‘Absolutely brilliant’.
  4. More information about the project can be found on Ron Hogg’s website, at: http://www.durham-pcc.gov.uk/Victims/Community-Peer-Mentor-Project.aspx, or search for Community Peer Mentor Project on Facebook.
Posted on Thursday 27th July 2017
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