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  The Basement
  36 Bolton Street
  L3 5LX
  T:0151 707 1515
  F:0151 709 6572


Peer Mentor Programme

Lottery logo

We are particularly proud to have secured over £300,000 as part of a five-year funding initiative from the Big Lottery Fund to further develop the Peer Mentor Programme. The programme is designed to offer service users the opportunity of taking on a role of responsibility with the Basement, whilst obtaining a nationally-recognised qualification and a range of transferable skills. The programme incorporates a number of sessions exploring issues surrounding social exclusion, substance misuse and working in a supportive capacity. It also provides for a significant period of follow-on support as graduates of the programme take up their roles in the daytime and evening services.

 Darren's Story

Bernie's Story

To date, a widely diverse range of people who are experiencing homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction have participated in the programme. Some of them have already gone on to successfully complete the Volunteer Training Course, several have completed further qualifications in such fields as housing, counselling, and teacher training, whilst others have used the opportunity to comprehensively address long-standing issues before continuing further training. The intentional flexibility and open-endedness of this programme is one of its key successes in engaging and supporting entrenched rough sleepers and those in chaotic and active addiction

The peer mentor model has been in development since 2008, with two classes having already graduated, but with the money made available through the Big Lottery Fund we are now able to employ one full-time and two part time staff to ensure that the programme can reach its full potential. The programme was rolled out fully in December 2009. We intend to continue offering the programme both on site and at various locations across Merseyside, and we hope that in rolling the programme further out, we can develop a wider range of opportunities for some of the most socially excluded individuals in Merseyside

We have also been developing a scheme through which to offer opportunities and genuine support for those people wishing to find pathways into employment. Many of our clients have experienced very long-term unemployment, and we recognise the need for a flexible programme

Volunteer Training Course

The course covers a range of issues, including homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and sex workers, and incorporates guest speakers from a range of specialist organisations across Merseyside. The programme is intended to provide the trainees with the basis of experience in working in a hands-on setting, offering people assistance when necessary and simply listening when appropriate

The course is open to anyone interested in working with people experiencing homelessness, and offers an opportunity to gain an understanding of contributing factors and underlying issues of often complex and multidimensional social exclusion. The course includes sessions focusing on

  • Understanding Homelessness
  • Effective Listening Skills
  • Boundaries Awareness
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Drug and Alcohol Awareness
  • Conflict Managment
  • Sex Workers and Domestic Violence
  • Awareness of Human Rights
  • Blood Bourne Virus Awareness
  • Interview Skills

Of those who have successfully completed the course, several have continued volunteering at The Basement to date, a significant number have moved on to find employment in organisations working with homelessness, substance misuse and mental health, some have gone on to study such subjects as addiction at postgraduate level and many have gained employment with The Basement as members of staff.

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Registered Charity Number : 1075052