Image: Group photo from presentation evening
15 new Community Peer Mentors have completed a 5 week training course and are now ready to provide support to vulnerable and isolated people in the Bishop Auckland, Leeholm, Coundon and Shildon areas. Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner, Ron Hogg, gave the new volunteer mentors their end-of-course certificates at an award ceremony at Bishop Auckland Community Fire Station yesterday.
The mentors support people suffering from anti-social behaviour or neighbourhood disputes. They work with a client to establish the root cause a difficult issue, and then empower people to engage with the community and to find the most appropriate support to help resolve the problem. This can also help to reduce the pressure on the Police and other frontline services by reducing the number of frequent calls.
One client in Darlington, where the service has been operating for some months, said that as a result of working with a mentor ‘I have my life back’. Amy-Simone Pattison, one of the new mentors, said ‘I have wanted to volunteer for a long time, to give something back to the community. The course was fantastic. The trainers and other volunteers have become like friends and family.”
Ron commented “This project is really going from strength to strength which is great news for our communities. Our Community Peer Mentors really help 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.”
The aim is to expand the service across the whole of County Durham by mid-2018. The next 5 week training course will be held in the Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor areas as the service is introduced to those areas.
Posted on Thursday 3rd November 2016