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Training for Community Peer Mentors extended to Bishop Auckland

Bishop Auckland map

Image: Bishop Auckland map

VOLUNTEERS who are keen to support vulnerable and isolated people in Bishop Auckland are being sought to take part in the second ever Community Peer Mentor training course.

The Community Peer Mentors project supports those suffering from anti-social behaviour or neighbourhood disputes, perceived or real. It also aims to help reduce the pressure on frontline services by engaging with individuals who make frequent calls and demands on services.

The free-of-charge training course in Bishop Auckland follows a successful course held in Darlington earlier in the year. Once trained, Community Peer Mentors will work in pairs with individuals 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.

Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) Ron Hogg said: “This project is really going from strength to strength which is great news for our communities. Our Community Peer Mentors in Darlington have helped people who are isolated and feel vulnerable, and in turn they have found it a rewarding experience to help others when they need it the most.

“I strongly encourage new volunteers in the Bishop Auckland area to come forward and get involved in this unique and rewarding scheme.”

The five-week course will take place at Bishop Auckland Community Fire Station from 6pm, from Wednesday 28 September; sessions last for 2 ½ hours.  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.

Cllr Joy Alan, Portfolio Holder for Safer Communities and Bishop Auckland County Councillor said “I am delighted that this ground-breaking scheme is being rolled out in County Durham.  I have every confidence the Community Peers Mentor programme will build on the early successes achieved in Darlington and help those most in need of support here in Bishop Auckland.”

Councillor Bill Dixon, Leader of Darlington Borough Council, said:  “I am delighted at the success of our earlier project and pleased that more people have the chance to get involved. This is 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.”

Applicants are invited to contact Jim Cunningham for more information or to register their interest on: 0300 003 1818 or email: 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 either the Darlington or Bishop Auckland areas. 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
Posted on Wednesday 24th August 2016
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