Peer Mentoring Wales

Peer Mentoring is a Pan Wales initiative, sponsored by the Welsh Government, (WG), and funded from the European Social Fund, (ESF).

The purpose of this innovative and exciting project is to enable current and ex substance misusers achieve economic independence by entering sustainable employment; the service is also available to significant others who have been affected by the drug/alcohol use of a loved one.

Peer Mentoring Wales aims to complement existing services by providing intensive, individual, needs-led, one-to-one support to help participants access education, training and volunteering opportunities which will enable them to gain the confidence and skills to obtain employment.

The peer mentoring service provides added value to existing services, offers constructive and focused aftercare and supports participants in making positive lifestyle choices and avoiding relapse.

Drugaid is the lead agency in a Consortium which delivers this programme in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent; the other organisations in the Consortium are TEDS and Kaleidoscope.

In order to be eligible to engage with peer mentoring, individuals need to be 18 or over and reside in one of the areas covered by the initiative.

Criteria for entering the service are that participants:

  • Have a current or past substance misuse problem
  • Have achieved abstinence or an appropriate level of stability in their drug &/or alcohol use
  • Be committed to making positive lifestyle changes
  • Have the motivation to access appropriate interventions to enable their individual goals to be achieved
  • Are prepared to comply with the requirements of the service
  • Have been directly affected by the substance misuse of a close family member

Referrals are accepted from virtually any source: from specialist substance misuse and generic agencies, from individuals who use, or have previously used drugs &/or alcohol, and from those affected by the substance misuse of others.

When a referral is received, it is allocated to a peer mentor and a 3-way appointment is subsequently arranged, (within 10 working days), with the potential participant, his/her case worker, (if s/he is currently in treatment), and the peer mentor. The aims, goals and aspirations of the service user are explored and identified and an initial action plan agreed; this action plan will form the basis of ongoing work with the participant. Following the initial appointment, the peer mentor will maintain contact with the referrer and, with the participant's permission, will regularly report on progress.

Peer mentors work closely with participants and meet with them on a regular basis as individual needs demand. They offer one-to-one guidance, support and practical help in overcoming barriers, (both real and perceived), and in accessing appropriate interventions to enable participants to achieve both their individual goals and, most importantly, an enhanced quality of life.

For peer mentoring to be successful in enabling participants to develop, make positive lifestyle changes and to become job-ready, it needs to be integrated into existing services so that treatment interventions are complemented and enhanced by this initiative, thus maximising positive outcomes for service users.

A recent addition to the peer mentoring service is Recruit Plus, which focuses solely on recruitment and employment. This element of the service is delivered by a recruitment specialist who works intensively with individuals, delivering practical help, support and guidance to ensure that they are job-ready.  

Recruit Plus also delivers a free, professional recruitment service to employers, and is able to provide them with candidates who have the appropriate skills for their vacancies, who are ready to enter the world of work and who will continue to be supported by peer mentors and the recruitment specialist during the initial stages of their employment.

If you require further information, literature, referral forms etc please contact:

Peer Mentoring Wales

Tel: 01685 721991

Admin.peermentoring@drugaidcymru.com

 

If you would like to learn more, or refer directly to Recruit Plus, please contact:

Katy Cherrington, Recruitment Specialist

Tel: 01685 721991 / 07879 434911

Katy.cherrington@drugaidcymru.com