What we do » Mentoring Programme
What is a mentor?
A mentor is defined as a trusted advisor, guide or friend. SMART mentors are paired with a person using our services in order to support them and share knowledge and advice.
What is SMART’s Mentoring Programme?
The Mentoring Programme gives people using our services additional support at a critical time in their recovery. Having mentor can help them to achieve their aspirations and give extra motivation when required.
The mentors also gain many new skills and experience working with the people they support. For some mentors, being able to use their own experiences positively, with those working through the same issues as they did, is an important part of their own recovery process.
Volunteering as a SMART mentor can include:
- Building a trusted relationship with others.
- Providing one-to-one support to people during the daytime, evenings and weekends.
- Assisting people in accessing local services.
- Developing an understanding of a person’s needs.
- Helping to build a person’s self-esteem and confidence.
- Supporting SMART workers.
- Administrative duties.
- Some SMART mentors are also given the opportunity to volunteer, in a supporting role, at other drug or multi service agencies.
How do the mentors benefit?
- Improve your communication and personal skills.
- Benefit from a sense of fulfilment and personal growth.
- Work towards an accredited qualification which can boost your employment opportunities.
- Access to further education and skills training including SMART’s Portal Programme.
- Learn basic counselling skills.
- Regular supervision, training and ongoing support from SMART staff.
- Placements with other treatment providers to enhance your knowledge in this field of work.
- Engage in a volunteering opportunity which is valued by employers.
- The chance to ‘give something back’ to others.
“Although my job was voluntary it was very fulfilling...I was there at the beginning...right through to the end when I could see them stand on their own two feet. I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to see and feel.”
The difference a mentor can make
- Get practical advice, encouragement and support
- Increase your confidence and motivation
- Spending time with someone other than a professional worker who can understand your experiences.
- One-to-one support out of working hours.
- An opportunity to talk through worries you may have difficulty sharing in a more formal setting.
- Support in accessing recovery services e.g being accompanied by a mentor when visiting or entering rehab.
- Help in contacting local service providers such as court, housing or probation.
- A known and safe contact when leaving prison or rehab.
- Help completing forms, job applications etc.
- The support of a female volunteer mentor can be especially valuable when helping people to access women-specific services.
“Having a Mentor has been a great help for me in trying to rebuild my life during my rehabilitation. I have received a lot of help with computer skills which I feel will benefit me later in my journey.”
How to apply
The programme is available to people regardless of their background.
You will be required to fill out an application form and attend an informal interview before being accepted onto the programme. Once accepted onto the programme you will by given an extensive induction and receive ongoing training.
Contact us to find out more
Please contact us if you are interested in getting support from a mentor:
- Speak to your SMART Worker
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call our services on:
- Aylesbury: 01296 337717
- Bracknell: 01344312360
- High Wycombe: 01494 474804
- Windsor & Maidenhead: 01628 683260
Find out more about becoming a mentor (and about other volunteering opportunities) at SMART