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Service users to help peers steer clear of crime

24 November 2016

Kent, Surrey and Sussex Community Rehabilitation Company (KSS CRC) will be launching a peer mentoring scheme next year to help service users successfully complete their orders and licences.

Peer mentors will offer fellow service users the benefit of their experiences of the Criminal Justice System, encouraging and supporting them through mentoring activities to bring about changes in their life too. They will offer service users one-to-one support and will also assist in motivating people to complete programmes which they have previously attended themselves.

In return for volunteering their time, peer mentors will receive accredited training in mentoring skills and be able to access further in house education, employment and training support to support their ongoing development and opportunities. This will help individuals to build up their CV, so that when they are ready to move on from being a peer mentor, they can apply for other jobs or volunteering roles.

Peer mentor training is set up in January 2017.

Deborah Mclenning, Volunteer Manager, said: ‘We are very excited to be launching this scheme and believe it will have a really important contribution to make in terms of helping service users with their rehabilitation and by keeping them away from crime, improving their opportunities and supporting their positive resettlement back into the community.’

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Kevin

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When I first met John*, he came across as being very shy and quiet. I attended an initial meeting where I met with Johnís Probation Officer and we agreed actions and goals for him to take to help aid his rehabilitation and tackle the issues that have led him to commit the crime in the first place.

The help of volunteer David

I was asked to work with Andrew* to help improve his self-esteem and decision making skills which led to his drug abuse. At our regular meetings, we explored solutions to his issues and obstacles to his future aspirations. Slowly through this work, his perceptions about himself began to change from feelings of guilty and helplessness, to being able to acknowledge his own personal strengths and attributes.