Who we are...
The Community Peer Mentors project aims to support those suffering from anti-social behaviour or neighbourhood disputes, perceived or real.
The project also aims to help reduce the pressure on frontline services such as the Council, Fire Service, Police, A&E and GP surgeries by engaging with individuals who make frequent calls and demands on these services.
This project began in Darlington in May 2016 with its first trained Community Peer Mentors. It continues to be rolled out across County Durham and is currently seeking volunteers in Bishop Auckland. It is a unique project that has never been tried anywhere else in the UK in relation to these issues.
What we do...
Community Peer Mentors work in pairs to support individuals and establish the root cause of particular issues. We aim to empower people to actively engage with the community by signposting them to the most appropriate support network or other professionals. Ultimately the aim is to make people feel safe and imrpove the circumstances they have found themselves in.
These agencies have become increasingly aware that a significant proportion of cases involving frequent calls stem from the unmet needs of people who have been left feeling frustrated which has an extremely negative impact on their wellbeing and feelings of isolation and vulnerability.
Interested in volunteering with the project?
This is a wonderful opportunity to be involved in a fascinating and intensely rewarding area of voluntary work where you can make a real difference to people at a very difficult time in their lives.
What Community Peer Mentors do:
- Provide a listening ear
- Help clients clarify their needs
- Explore options for resolving situations
- Encourage personal responsibility
- Develop strategies together
- Provide skills and confidence to resolve matters amicably
- Signpost to other services where appropriate
The difference we are making:
- Develop coping strategies
- Create a personal system of support
- Form new friendships and relationships
- Engage in new hobbies or interests
- Contribute more to their community
- Learn strategies and methods for dealing with challenges
- More acceptances of different and conflicting lifestyles
- Take decisions that are important to individuals
What about training?
No previous experience in volunteering or supporting people is required as training will be provided; all we need is your enthusiasm and willingness to help people.
The training programme will consist of five evening sessions, each lasting 2½ hours (between 18:00 to 20:30hrs) at Bishop Auckland Community Fire Station.
Once trained, mentors will be able to choose whether they work with clients in either Darlington or Bishop Auckland. The project will be extended to other areas over the next 12 months.
Your life experiences are very important for this role, whatever they are; so do not think they are a barrier to you becoming a Community Peer Mentor. Come along and help make a real difference!
Get in touch
If you are a resident and feel you are suffering from a neighbour dispute or anti-social behaviour, or if you are interested in becoming a Community Mentor Volunteer, please contact Jim Cunningham for further information, either by telephone or email: