Graduation Ceremony for Somerset Peer Mentors

News item posted: 17 March 2017

On Friday 10th May, Sarah Kay-Hawker, Team Leader for Turning Point's Somerset Community Access Programme, presented certificates to the first class of Peer Mentor Graduates from the Community Access Programme in Somerset.

Turning Point Peer Mentors are role models who use their own experience of treatment and recovery to inspire, motivate and support others to become substance free.

Now business owner, Faisel Ghaghazi, spoke at the ceremony about his own experiences with drug and alcohol misuse and how he was able to turn his life around.

Faisel said; "Life is about the choices you make and the paths you cross. People make presumptions all the time but with the right support and guidance I believe that anyone can turn their lives around. Life throws you challenges which can be hard to overcome alone. My story is of a man who was broken through drug and alcohol issues and who has risen up to become a productive member of society. Who says people can't change? When people believe in you, you believe in yourself."

Paul, one of the graduating Peer Mentors explained why he got involved with the Peer Mentoring scheme;

"I started peer mentoring to help with my own recovery and in the hope that I could help my peers in their recovery by using my peer mentor training and experiences. It feels great to be able to use the wrong choices and decisions I have made in life to help other people to make better decisions and hopefully avoid some of the mistakes I myself made."

Tam, another graduating peer mentor said; "I felt such a sense of achievement on the Graduation day and was over whelmed by Faisel .His life story was truly inspiring and I am truly grateful for the opportunity to partake in the peer mentoring course"

Jacky Holland, a project worker for Turning Point's Community Access Programme in Somerset said; "It was a privilege to be involved in the Training and the Graduation Ceremony of the Peer Mentors. It was a great way to acknowledge and celebrate all the hard work they had put in. This accreditation means they will be able to support and guide other service users through recovery with confidence, knowledge and an understanding of how to use their own personal experiences to turn others' lives around."