Peer mentors are crucial to the success of our projects. Becoming self-employed is demanding at the best of times but for someone newly released from prison, there can be unique challenges to face. Our Clients enjoy the personal support that someone who has had shared experiences can offer.
In April 2011, we recruited a Peer Mentor Manager, Tanya Tracey who is co-ordinating a programme of peer support.
The programme is varied and includes opportunities for new Clients to spend a day with successfully self-employed ex-offenders to experience ‘a day in the life of…’ . Whether a prospective Client is hoping to become a mobile hairdresser, a computer consultant or a photographer – to name a few – we will try to match them with someone happy to share their expertise.
We also regularly host drop in clinics for Clients to come and share tips, experiences or discuss any challenges they may be facing. As well as providing a fun and supportive environment, the clinics also offer opportunities to learn with guest speakers talking on a wide range of subjects such as sales and marketing skills.
The role of a peer mentor
We see the role as one of encouragement, motivation and support. If you would like to become a peer mentor you would be given training by Startup so you are fully prepared to help our new Clients.
As a peer mentor you will know better than most that the first months of self-employment can be difficult. A non-judgmental approach is vital and you’ll need good listening skills with a desire to build confidence in others whilst helping them to reach their full potential.
Want to find out more?
If you are interested in learning more about our mentoring scheme or would like to become a peer mentor please write to Tanya at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively you can give her a call on: 07918 680 009