SAMAS CO-ORDINATOR BEDFORDSHIRE
Having left school at 16 without any qualifications, Bev recognises the impact this can have on confidence and self-esteem, as well as limiting opportunities in general areas of life, work and leisure. She subsequently built skills, experience and qualifications across different educational and employment sectors including admin, marketing and counselling.
Now, with a passion for giving people an opportunity to change their lives for the better, she has been offering specialist advice, guidance and support to adults with problematic drug or alcohol use to move into education, training or work.
With over 10 years’ experience in this area, she has good connections across Bedfordshire with the drug and alcohol services, mental health teams, women’s groups, training providers, and the DWP and regularly draws on this community support to broaden opportunities for service users.
In November 2016, she joined CLI to become the SAMAS Coordinator in Bedfordshire (Support, Advice, Mentoring, and Advocacy Service). A large part of the role involves the recruitment, training and support of volunteers to become mentors to adults trying to make positive changes in their lives, experiencing problems with drugs or alcohol, and the many issues connected with that.
Bev draws on strong skills of empathy and good practice skills developed in counselling to meet, assess and offer quality mentoring support to anyone referred to SAMAS. One man who recently joined the project said he has finally made the decision to turn his life around after several years of drug dependency – and for Bev, this is why we do this work!