Peer mentors successfully find employment

Two Doncaster men who have been helped by Doncaster’s Drug and Alcohol Services are proving that new beginnings really are possible.

Daniel Bowden and Joe Sheerin are starting new careers as support workers after successfully graduating from a peer mentoring scheme, which sees people with direct experience of substance misuse, volunteering their time to help others on their own recovery journeys.

Stainforth dad of two Daniel (31) referred himself to the service when he felt his evening and weekend drinking was getting out of hand. He underwent a period of counselling and therapy at Rosslyn House on Thorne Road, and has now successfully given up alcohol.

Daniel said: “I felt like I was drinking too much and just didn’t want the rest of my life to be like that.

“The therapy I received helped me by dealing with the issues and triggers that drove me to drink in the first place.”

He added: “Since giving up drinking, I’m much happier and I’m now a better partner and dad.

“We have more money to enjoy family days out at weekends – and get to go further afield because we go in the car now, whereas before I’d have left it at home so I could have a drink.”

After completing his therapy, Daniel used his annual leave from work and evenings to volunteer in Doncaster Drug and Alcohol Service’s peer mentoring programme. He has recently been successful in finding new employment and will shortly take up a new job as a support worker with The Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS).

Joe, (45) from Wheatley, has just taken up his new post as support worker at New Beginnings Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre in Balby, helping people on the same recovery journey he himself successfully completed after 20 years of addiction.

He said: “Thanks to the brilliant support I received from New Beginnings, not only have I beaten my addiction, but I’m now in meaningful employment for the first time in around 10 years.

“When I saw the positive results of my own recovery, I decided to become a peer mentor to give something back to the service, because in my experience it really helps to meet someone who has ‘been there’ themselves, and who is proof there really is a way out.”

Volunteer and Mentor Coordinator Lydia Rice said: “By sharing their own experiences, peer mentors deliver vital support to people beginning their recovery journeys.

“They offer empathy and encouragement, and play a valuable role in motivating others.

“All peer mentors are qualified through training certified to Level 2 in Peer Mentoring and Substance Misuse Awareness delivered by Certa, which gives them a good step on the pathway to employment.”

Service Manager Stuart Green said: “Over 70 people applied for these posts, so competition was very high.

“Both Daniel and Joe went through a rigorous interview process and proved themselves worthy of the posts in a high pressure situation in front of the panel”

Lydia Rice added: “We are really proud of Daniel and Joe and know they will continue to be fantastic role models to Doncaster people in recovery.”

Doncaster Drug and Alcohol Services are provided by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH) in partnership with The Alcohol and Drug Service (ADS) and Doncaster Alcohol Services (DAS).

RDaSH Volunteer and Mentor Coordinator Lydia Rice (centre) with Joe Sheerin (left) and Daniel Bowden (right).
RDaSH Volunteer and Mentor Coordinator Lydia Rice (centre) with Joe Sheerin (left) and Daniel Bowden (right).