London Borough of Camden
We offer an award-winning peer mentoring programme in Camden.
Lucy or Ani on 020 3355 7113
Write to us:
VoiceAbility, United House, 39-41 North Road, London, N7 9DP
What is peer mentoring?
To us, the term ‘Mentoring’ describes a relationship supporting someone through their personal recovery. It is about encouraging and PRACTICALLY supporting someone to make the most of themselves and this opportunity.
Mentoring is about developing mutual trust and respect. It is a two-way relationship; you both get the chance to learn new things and help each other. The Mentor and the Mentee benefit from personal development. Mentors have lots of life experiences that mentees can learn from and vice versa. It is also a great way for mentees to develop and improve communication and goal planning skills and for mentors to learn and gain more skills.
Meeting a peer mentor who has been through similar experience as you on a regular basis, can inspire hope and make progression in your own personal recovery possible. Our peer mentors work with their mentees in hostels, inpatient wards and out in the community, providing a range of support to their mentees including:
Practical support offered to mentees has included, but is not limited to:
- Completion of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) forms;
- Accompanying to hospital, GP, PIP appointments and ward rounds;
- Contribution to residents hostel care plans;
- Joint meetings with keyworkers
- Applying for benefits;
- Support with debts;
- Support to maintain tenancies;
- Supporting and navigating through processes;
- Support with finding activities to help you get well and stay well.
Emotional support offered to mentees is critical at a time when they may feel very frightened and confused about their circumstances. It includes:
- Sharing common experiences;
- Spending time with people on wards;
- Instilling a sense of hope;
- Acting as an example of recovery;
- Work to identify triggers;
- Preparation for discharge;
- Sharing experiences;
- Teaching mindfulness techniques;
- Support with social anxiety;
- Creating wellness plans;
- Identifying triggers and coping strategies.
I want to be a Mentor – What will I get out of it?
Mentoring can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience. Not only will you be helping someone else develop his or her skills but you will get a lot from it, too.
Mentoring can give you new skills and allow you the opportunity to develop your existing skills. Mentors experience increasing levels of empowerment, self-esteem and increased confidence that they are doing well. They feel more able to cope with their own mental health issues.
Peer Support benefits everyone, not just the mentor, your mentee should recognise empathy and respect from you and in return feels a sense of hope and optimism.
Mentors are given training to develop communication skills and use experiences to support peers. Mentors are taught to empower mentees using a person-centred approach and effectively draw on their own experience to listen to their mentees and help them to explore options and make their own decisions.
What you can get out of it:
- Develop excellent communication and inter-personal skills
- Utilise knowledge or any interests that you already have
- Build your confidence
- Put volunteering experience on your CV
- Gain references for your CV
- Demonstrate to employers that you are reliable and responsible. (You have shown commitment to a task and maintained a regular pattern of working hours).
- It is sure to give you great feeling to know that you are helping to improve the quality of someone else’s life and doing so much good!
I wanted to thank you for arranging my mentoring sessions as meeting up with Kim has got me through a very difficult time, which at many points I didn't think I would get through, and helped rebuild my confidence to get back to normal life. I have been really isolated and unable to do much while I have had this severe depressive episode but going out with Kim encouraged me to get out of my flat and do 'normal' things which I had lost the will to do on my own. I am very grateful and only wish I had know about it earlier in my illness as I think it would have prevented me getting as bad as I did. It is a invaluable service and I hope it continues to be adopted more widely. I'd like to think that I will one day be strong enough to volunteer as a mentor.