Community Peer Mentor Chloe Hammond wins the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Volunteer Award at the Lord Ferrers Awards.
The Lord Ferrers Awards recognise outstanding contributions to volunteering in policing. The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner Volunteer Award is given each year to a volunteer who has demonstrated a significant and sustained contribution to policing in their local communities.
The Community Peer Mentors were the initiative of the previous Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner the late Ron Hogg CBE; however funding has carried on and the scheme has continued to grow. The mentors have actively recruited over 300 people with lived experiences who aim to inspire confidence in the police and criminal justice system by supporting victims and those who are vulnerable.
Chloe, from New Brancepeth in County Durham, has been a volunteer with the Community Peer Mentors for just over a year and has made such a positive impact on the team and the those who she provides support for, especially the vulnerable and isolated people who have been impacted by COVID.
She initially made contact with the Community Peer Mentors of her own volition, as she wanted to help people and at the same time as part of her ‘Supported Internship with Adult Learning and Skills Service’ run by Durham County Council; with the view of using a volunteering experience as part of her work placement; supported Internships offer learners the chance to develop skills and experience.
Chloe, who is 21, has Cerebral Palsy which poses challenges for her in daily life, but she continues to inspire others with her commitment to helping others as a volunteer.
Ferrers Award winner Chloe said: “When Jim contacted me to say that he had nominated me for the award I felt over whelmed and emotional. I couldn't thank him enough and to win is amazing. It is a nice feeling that I am making a difference to somebody else's life just by having a conversation with them on the phone and in doing this I am making them feel less lonely.
“I would certainly recommend becoming a Community Peer Mentor. As well as volunteering for Community Peer Mentors I am also an ambassador for Heel and Toe Children's Charity. The charity provides therapy for Children with Cerebral Palsy and other physical disabilities.”
Alongside her volunteering for the Community Peer Mentors Chloe is a budding actress and has studied BTEC Level 2 Performing arts at New College Durham.
Durham Police and Crime Commissioner Joy Allen said : “I am delighted for Chloe in winning a prestigious Lord Ferrers Award which is thoroughly deserved. The Community Peer Mentors scheme continues to have a positive impact in the local community for so many people thanks to the hard work and dedication from volunteers such as Chloe.
Community Peer Mentors Manager Jim Cunningham said: “I am thrilled for Chloe on winning this fantastic award, she is an amazing young lady who has provided so much support and comfort to a number of people over the last year, she is a brilliant and caring volunteer who always puts others first. We are extremely proud to have her as a Community Peer Mentor, as she reflects the very best that we can provide to vulnerable and isolated people across County Durham and Darlington.
“The Community Peer Mentors are part of the Durham PCC’s office and we have been running for 6years. Our great success has been largely due to our amazing volunteers. We have actively recruited people from all walks of life, and ages, especially those with lived experiences or colourful pasts, coordinated by six brilliant members of staff.
“We offer a non-time specific support which is unique and bespoke for every client. We believe every persons experience, story, fears and feelings are different and therefore one size does not fit all. All we ask is that a person has the will, want and capacity to change as well as setting goals, however small.
If you would like to become a Community Peer Mentor you can find out more by contacting CommunityPeerMentors@durham‐pcc.gov.uk
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