The Power of Peer Mentoring

After years of using cannabis, Judith Podd and her husband decided in 2013 to seek help from their GP. Judith’s husband had been using cannabis to help alleviate pain in his joints while she used it as a form of stress relief. Her GP referred them to EDP Drug & Alcohol Services (EDP) who offered them support at EDP Wareham.

After a month of weekly one-to-one sessions with an EDP worker they were encouraged to attend group workshops. Judith found these sessions, where she had the chance to talk to others about addiction and the effect it has on people’s lives, really helpful. It was particularly helpful for her to receive suggestions from others to help her in her recovery.

With this support Judith stopped using cannabis and after a year became a Peer Supporter for EDP. This involved her helping other service users with phone calls and completing forms. Judith was encouraged by EDP staff to become a Peer Mentor and took part in the training.

Judith has found that being trained as a Peer Mentor has helped her to move forward in her recovery. She commented “For me personally, I love the fact that I can give back to others some knowledge and experience of what I have gone through and learnt throughout my recovery journey.”

On Wednesday 2nd November the latest groups of EDP Peer Mentors in Dorset will celebrate the completion of the training at a special Graduation Ceremony at Christchurch Baptist Church. The nine graduates will now go on to help other EDP service users overcome substance misuse issues leading by example and inspiring others with their own recovery journeys.

As well as recognising the achievements of the peer mentors, the ceremony will feature guest speakers Nick Wilson, from Exchange Supplies, and Laura Everett-Coles from Public Health Dorset.  Anyone who would like to find out more is welcome to attend. Please contact Sharon Dears on 01202 482 908 for more details.

Peer Mentor Judith encouraged anyone struggling with their drug and/or alcohol use to get help. She said “I would say please do not be scared or frightened to approach anyone with your drug or alcohol problem, as there are people out there who can help who will have been through the same/similar experiences and they will be able to help you.”

EDP Drug & Alcohol Services support people to address problems related to drug and alcohol use and their families. If you would like help to address your drug or alcohol use please contact your nearest EDP service: Blandford – 01258 450 862; Bridport – 01308 427 195; Christchurch – 01202 482 908; Gillingham -01747 825 872; Swanage – 01929 422 777; Weymouth – 01305 760 799. For more information about EDP visit

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