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Graduation celebrates Volunteers’ Week

Aspire volunteer peer mentors pictured with staff and family members at the graduation event in Balby.
Aspire volunteer peer mentors pictured with staff and family members at the graduation event in Balby.

A group of Doncaster people who will be offering advice and support to people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction celebrated the completion of their training during Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June).

The graduation event at St Catherine’s House in Balby saw 14 new volunteer mentors graduating from Aspire Drug and Alcohol Service’s 15-week Volunteer Peer Mentor Programme, which trains people to support Aspire service users on a one-to-one basis and in groups, or just be a listening ear when they need it most.

Aspire Volunteer and Peer Mentor Co-ordinator Lydia Rice said: “Our volunteer peer mentors play a crucial role in our services.

“Some have lived experience of addiction and can help people who have similar problems to those they’ve overcome – they’re living proof that recovery really is possible.

“Others are drawn from the community and bring their life experience as well as roots and contacts within the community.

“Both enrich what we’re able to offer service users and help them make the vital first step towards building a social circle. This kind of network is key to a successful recovery – friends who you can have fun with without the need for drugs and alcohol, who will offer you support even when you’re out of treatment.”

She added: “Volunteering provides a valuable opportunity to make new friends, give back, build confidence and develop new skills – everyone on the course works towards a variety of Certa accredited qualifications including Peer Mentoring and Substance Misuse Awareness.

“It’s also a great first step towards paid employment for people looking for valuable work experience.”

Aspire’s Volunteer Peer Mentor Programme runs twice a year, for more information on the programme, or volunteering opportunities with Aspire, please email Lydia.rice@rdash.nhs.uk

To talk to someone in confidence about drug or alcohol issues, please visit Aspire’s live chat at: www.aspire.community, or ring (01302) 730956.