A Peer Mentor is a type of volunteer, but is a special role, quite different from the majority of RISE’s other volunteering opportunities. Roles are based within structured treatment services and are the primary route into volunteering or work for those fresh out of treatment.
RISE’s peer mentoring program provides training and placement opportunities for people who have had personal experience of overcoming drug and alcohol issues or experience through a close family member. Peer mentors undertake around eight weeks initial training (always Mondays and Tuesdays*) in preparation for providing mentoring support to service users currently overcoming drug and alcohol issues. Whilst doing this, evidence is compiled to ascertain that they have a clear understanding of the role of a peer mentor.
Peer mentors will provide support during a voluntary placement of approximately six months within a recovery service within the borough of Ealing. Ongoing support from the Volunteer and Peer Mentor Coordinator will be provided along with regular line management support from a designated line manager within your placement.
We recruit to these roles on a rolling basis, providing training for 10-15 individuals, 2-3 times per year.
We are currently accepting applications for training taking place in early 2015 (dates yet to be scheduled). If you’re interested in this role, please download an information booklet, which includes a typical role description and an application form for the programme. As yet there is no deadline for applications for this intake.
Any successful interviewees who cannot be accommodated on the first training course they apply to will be automatically allocated a place on the next training course.
*If you can’t attend on Mondays and Tuesdays but would be interested in the training and role, please do still apply. We will look at potential opportunities to study outside of the borough (travel expenses paid) at another CGL service.
Fully-trained Peer Mentors
We can also offer placements – without training – to those who have completed CGL training in other boroughs or with Philroy Forte in Southwark. Those who have trained with other organisations may also be able to access placements, so long as their training is at an equivalent level.
Either way, just get in touch to arrange an initial meeting!
For those who successfully complete a peer mentoring placement with RISE, the next step is often volunteering in a different role, such as those found on the individual volunteering opportunities page or Recovery Assistant roles. Not all peer mentors choose to move onto these roles and there is no requirement to do so, but those who do often tell us that the experience significantly helps them to find paid work in the field. We must stress that we cannot guarantee a job to any peer mentor or other volunteer, as all paid work is recruited to on an equal opportunities basis and advertised to the general public.
A example journey from service user may look like this:
1. Service user
2. Peer mentor training (two months)
3. Peer mentor placement (minimum six months)
4. Assistant role – usually Recovery Assistant – volunteering placement (minimum six months)
5. Recovery Apprentice: salaried (12 month fixed-term contract)
6. Sessional Recovery Worker: paid on an hourly basis
7. Recovery Worker: salaried (contracts vary from short fixed-term to permanent)
Not all volunteers take every step along this path and some of the placement lengths may vary, but there is a requirement for those coming through the peer mentor system to complete a minimum of 12 months placement before they can be considered for any paid position within RISE or CGL.