New start for Horizons Peer Mentor

Volunteers at North Yorkshire Horizons are receiving additional help and support from a newly appointed Peer Mentor and Volunteer coordinator.

Amy Rollinson has been looking at any opportunities where volunteers could support services within North Yorkshire.

Amy said: “One of my first tasks when taking up the role was to map the skills of our existing volunteers. It’s amazing to see just how many people are giving back North Yorkshire Horizons.

“Having understood what opportunities are available to volunteers, I’ve started advertising for volunteers, with clear advice as to what support our service needs in the future. This means potential volunteer candidates can decide if they feel they have, or would like to gain, the skills necessary to take up a volunteering position.

“Our goal is to enhance the service but also to help volunteers achieve their own personal goals, whether that is developing existing skills, improving confidence or simply wanting to be part of something incredibly worthwhile.

“We’ve already received interest from potential volunteers after promoting the opportunities on our social media channels.

“The role is changing through this unprecedented time and I have started to find new ways to use the volunteers that we have.  We have someone that is editing videos which promote self-care during isolation and these are being used on social media.

“We are also setting up and running virtual peer support meetings, that will be run by the volunteers for service users to be able to connect and interact in these uncertain times.  We are hoping that this will be something that we can utilise when groups are able to run again, so that people in rural areas or have childcare commitments are still able to connect and grow in their recovery.”

The virtual groups will be advertised to service users and on the social media platforms.

All volunteers will be taken on for five trial sessions so that they can decide if the match is right for them and the service can see how best to use their skill set.

Horizons will continually assess how the volunteer is feeling through regular supervision with our primary objective to make sure that they are happy and supported while they are giving their time and skills to us.

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