An innovative recovery project launched at our Essex Support, Advice and Mentoring Service (SAMS) in January will help service users to achieve sustained recovery on their completion of structured treatment.
Essex SAMS provides support for people who are in early recovery from drug and alcohol misuse by matching them with trained volunteer peer mentors. The peer mentors use their own experience of recovery to support peers and help them to realise their potential.
The Aspire programme uses group sessions, classroom learning, practical writing and planning tools and team building exercises to boost participants’ skills and confidence in preparation for reintegrating back into their local community and seeking employment.
Designed in consultation with peers and mentors, the focus was on what did and did not work for individuals who had experienced treatment for substance misuse. The team worked closely with local treatment providers to address gaps in current provision and to ensure the programme effectively supported the progress individuals demonstrated during their time in treatment. The bespoke programme provides a structured environment for service users to move safely and securely into long term recovery.
Aspire supports service users to reintegrate back into their communities, enhance their CVs and encourage meaningful use of time. Outcomes are evidenced throughout the duration of the course, allowing participants to reflect on what they’ve learnt so far in their journey and discuss how they are going to practically apply the knowledge and skills they have gained.
The group have recently moved to the second stage, which encourages progression away from substance misuse services and towards greater independence in their local community. Replicating a work environment, each participant has ownership of individual responsibilities, with tasks including the development of a business plan, event planning and working on fundraising strategies.
In the final stage, the group will work on completion of an accredited Gateway Future Life Skills course, applying work based skills to support people back into employment and maximise their potential.
Find out more about the service here.