What is it like becoming a Peer Mentor?
Hi, I’m Josh and I have recently progressed from Apprentice to Peer Mentor as a result of completing my Level Two NVQ as a Customer Service Practitioner. I have learnt so much from being an apprentice and have valued the support from within the Face Forward team to grow within my job role.
The progression to a peer mentor will allow me to develop my skillset further, as I will have more responsibility and be trusted with a larger and more varied case load. My role involves building relationships with young people, so I can support and encourage them to make positive changes in their lives. Also, supporting my colleagues to ensure that the project runs smoothly in all areas.
On average I will work with between 10 and 12 young people, who face several personal and circumstantial barriers. Some of the clients I work with are dealing with social isolation, lack of jobs, social anxieties, financial barriers, lack of education and employment, and drink and drug issues.
I am based in the Blandford Face Forward office, working within the rural parts of Dorset has its own challenges. For example, the lack of regular transport. Many villages in Dorset only have a few buses a day, this makes it difficult for young people to get to work or college. Another challenge is the lack of jobs and variety of opportunities in rural Dorset.
Despite these challenges, I love seeing young people make positive changes to their lifestyle and supporting them to achieve goals they may not have thought possible. This makes it very rewarding to be progressing to Peer Mentor, all the hard work has paid off and I am hitting my targets in terms of career development. I feel equipped with useful qualifications and skills that could take me in so many different directions. I will have a lot of opportunities in the future.
Face Forward is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.