North Kent Mind, The Almshouses, 20 West Hill Dartford, Kent, DA1 2EP
- General Office: 01322 291380
- Fax: 01322 285294
- Housing Enquiries: 01322 222256
What is Mentoring?
Mentoring is a service which provides a volunteer to work on a one-to-one basis with a person in need. A trained volunteer mentor is matched with a service user and will meet them usually once a week, perhaps in their home or outside at some other venue, to support them in achieving their agreed goals.
Not the same as Befriending?
No, befriending is usually just about providing company over a period of time, for people who are isolated. Mentoring is about actively supporting someone to achieve clear goals.
What kind of issues might a mentor help someone with?
This service is aimed at people experiencing agoraphobia or social phobia. Many people who use this service have difficulties with anxiety or self-confidence and may be going through a particularly difficult patch, or some kind of change in their life. It has helped people learn to socialise again after becoming isolated. It has given people the support they needed to make choices for themselves in difficult family situations.
The Mentoring Service has been assessed by the national Mentoring and Befriending Foundation and awarded Approved Provider Standard for the quality of its service.
What is Agoraphobia?
Some people have great anxieties about leaving their house, and functioning in the world outside. They may also have other fears which prevent them from doing things like going into supermarkets, being in large groups or using public transport. These life-limiting anxieties are often known as “agoraphobia”. Our Agoraphobia Service provides trained volunteers to work with a person to help them overcome these fears.
What does the volunteer do?
The service coordinator will visit the person with agoraphobia to work out a plan of action: this will be based on little steps towards achieving things that were previously too frightening. The volunteer will meet weekly with the client for 3 months to support them through these small steps. This is known as “gradual exposure” and is a known technique for helping people deal with these kind of anxieties. The aim is for people to access a peer support agoraphobia group at the end of the 3 month period.
Who can use the Mentoring or the Agoraphobia Service?
The service is for people who:
How do I apply for these services?
A person can contact us directly, either by phone or in person, to make a self-referral, or they can be referred by a professional involved in supporting them (eg. a GP, or a worker with the Mental Health Team).
What is the next part of the process?
A home visit will be arranged. We always have 2 staff doing the first visit to a client we do not know. They will talk to you to assess your needs and, where there is agreement that we can be of help to you, you will then be matched with a volunteer. Sometimes this might take a little while as it is important to find the right match.
Aims of the Mentoring Service for Agoraphobia Service:
To provide an individualised service which helps people overcome their anxieties and fears. To promote self-confidence and self-esteem. To work in a way which empowers the service user to become independent. To work to help a person decrease any feelings of social isolation. To support clients to achieve the personal goals that will improve their mental health. In particular, to provide a volunteer to be present to support clients to take small steps to overcome their anxieties. To support clients to develop skills for self-help.
What service users have said about the Service: “When I joined the mentoring scheme I was new to Dartford and knew no one. My mentor helped me to gain confidence and help me to help myself in getting established in Dartford.” “I feel my mentor has been very helpful in helping me sort out new places and activities to get involved in.”
Mentoring for Agoraphobia Support Scheme Leaflet: Mentoring for Agoraphobia Leaflet
We also have a support group for people with agoraphobia;