Since 2016, 17 people have qualified as Peer Mentors and 3 are enrolled on the current course.
This course is accredited by OCN (Open College Network), and takes place at Richmond and Hillcroft Adult College (RHACC) and Kingston Churches Action on Homelessness (KCAH). Once trained, Peer Mentors go on to offer peer-to-peer support to people experiencing homelessness to help improve people’s confidence, health and wellbeing.
The Peer Mentoring programme, for people with lived experience of homelessness, offers opportunity to gain employability skills and work experience. Four Peer Mentors are currently employed in paid roles in SPEAR’s services. They work in a variety of roles from presenting and being an Ambassador at schools, colleges or community groups, to helping support clients. Having people who have experienced homelessness themselves employed at SPEAR is something the charity continues to encourage.
Five others have gained employment or volunteering positions for companies outside of SPEAR.
A personal account from a SPEAR client
“If you are with SPEAR and you have the chance to do the Peer Mentoring training then I would say go for it! I have done the training and enjoyed every minute of it. I loved volunteering at SPEAR, meeting new and great people, and I like to be busy every day. You will get support from Sophea and Karen at SPEAR, and a great tutor Deborah who will support you in any way she can. You will meet new people from all walks of life and you will end up feeling good about yourself. The training is in a safe and clean place too.
After completing the college part of the programme I started volunteering with the Homeless Health Link service at SPEAR. I’ve met new people and feel good when I finish for the day. I am helping SPEAR in the way that SPEAR helped me. There is no judgment from anyone and all are welcome to come and learn things that will help to move forward in life.”