Volunteers bring a great deal of enthusiasm and enormous heart to service and the role of volunteer and many find their lives are transformed by it. Volunteering itself can be a huge step forward in a person’s recovery, offering a sense of purpose, a boost to self-esteem, the opportunity to learn new skills and take on responsibilities, and to give something positive to other people.
As a part of the treatment partnership in Kingston, Moving on Together (MOT) volunteers offer a be-friending and advocacy service for individuals accessing the Kingston Wellbeing Service.
It is always worth remembering that accessing any treatment service can be a frightening and intimidating prospect. Discovering that your use of alcohol or drugs has got out of hand is bad enough, let alone entering a service where you have no idea what is going to happen to you, or how you can be helped to get better.
Recovery can be tough and that is why MOT creates support networks that help people to get through it together, not alone. We recognise that recovery can be a time of great opportunity where people get to live the lives they have always dreamed of but perhaps have never had the support, encouragement or resources to fulfil.
MOT at Kingston are a team of service user volunteers, who with the right support and training, provide not only a friendly welcome, but also help those accessing treatment to understand their options and look at which ‘treatment pathway’ will suit them best. They can explain what happens during an assessment and how that information is used; what a key work session involves, and why it is worth undertaking groups with others going through the same treatment. If you find things difficult to understand or deal with, or have a problem with the treatment you receive, the MOT volunteers are there to help you.
It’s not just service users who benefit from MOT services but also the volunteers who run the services. Most volunteers have been service users themselves and understand how hard it can be to overcome addiction issues.