Volunteers and Peer Mentors gathered together this week at a community event celebrating their work with SHP for Volunteers Week 2019.

Peer Mentors, who work across our services, were joined by staff at the SHINE event in Camden to champion their unique contribution to SHP’s work. The day was also an opportunity for Peer Mentors from different services to meet, chat and share their experiences.

Peer Mentors are individuals who have lived experience of homelessness, substance use and recovery and/or mental health issues, volunteering their time to support others through a similar journey.

SHP’s Peer Mentor Programme not only aims to support our clients, but to support Peer Mentors themselves with their own ongoing recovery by developing their skills and confidence. All go through an eight-week training course to help them in the role, with the ultimate aim that the experience will help them make the next step into independence such as further training or employment. The programme has trained over 30 individuals in the last year.

Rosie Holliday, Peer Mentor Team Manager, said: “We are so privileged to have volunteers that are not only truly dedicated, but have the knowledge and skills, from their lived experience, to provide invaluable support to our clients. We really couldn’t provide our services without them."

Liz Rutherfoord, SHP’s Chief Executive, attended the event to congratulate all the volunteers and service representatives for all their hard work, presenting all with a certificate and gift.

Speaking at the event, she said, “It’s great to have so many of you here today, to meet you all and hear your stories.

“We are very thankful for your ongoing support of our work – and for making the peer mentoring programme such a success.

“SHP will continue to be committed to putting Peer Mentors and people with lived experience at the heart of what we do.”

The Peer Mentors were all treated to a free breakfast, and took part in a variety of sessions including a guided meditation session run by Inner Space and some pampering including hand massages from Get Into Learning from the Working Men’s College.

The SHINE event was followed by a volunteer fair, showcasing a variety of voluntary opportunities in the Borough, including our friends from Shoreditch Dogs House, Camden & Islington Volunteers Centre and Working Men’s College.