PEER 4 U, is a ground breaking initiative to tackle head on the loneliness and social isolation experienced by people in Blackpool by with a history of homelessness, mental illness, offending and substance misuse. All of the PEER 4 U team, have lived experience of these issues and will be drawing on that experience to provide mentoring support to others who are looking to connect with new friends, exciting opportunities and volunteering roles. Tackling loneliness and social isolation experienced by people with Multiple Complex Needs through listening, mentoring and community.

Each of the mentee’s will have a history of at least two of the following areas, Substance Misuse, Offending, Mental health or Homelessness. Ideally the mentee will be coming to the end their time within a service and ready to embark on the next stage of their journey.

What Peer 4 U can offer a mentee is someone to walk alongside the next stage of their journey, helping to motivate change, building confidence, helping the individual build support networks and helping them to feel more independent within their lives.

The Peer4U Service is not currently taking referrals

Meet the Peer 4 U Peer Mentors

Ben Johnson
Peer 4 U Peer Mentor

About Ben

I started volunteering for Fulfilling Lives last year as part of their Lived Experience Team.

I helped out at the drop in and alongside the navigators as they supported people with multiple complex needs. I’m from Blackpool myself and am aware of a great need for support for the most vulnerable people who live here.

I’ve completed a Level 2 Counselling course and am studying health and Social Care at college. I’m interested in both subjects and am carrying them on further to gain Level 3 in both and train as a Resilience Counsellor.

I co-facilitate a confidence building course which I enjoy. I have personal lived experience and feel I’ve a lot to offer.

I’ve deep gratitude towards the people who have helped me along the way so I believe in the process that happens when one human helps another.

I now work as a peer mentor for Empowerment which is an organization that I believe in, and I’m passionate about helping others. At Fulfilling Lives I’ve watched people turn their lives around so I know that the Peer 4 U project will carry this on and I’m excited to be a part of it. Helping others to empower themselves to change their lives is something I am passionate about and ready to be a part of.

John McManus
Peer 4 U Peer Mentor

About John

I started volunteering with the Lived Experience Team in 2018. I am now working with Empowerment with the Peer 4 U as a peer mentor. I am also at college doing Health and Social care.

I am from Blackpool and have a passion to help the people of Blackpool with Multiple Complex Needs.

I want to help people by believing in them to make change helping get their voices heard and by showing them kindness and respect.

I am in recovery myself and was in and out of services for a long time.

I want to give back and make a difference in peoples lives I love seeing people get well and will do anything I can to help.

Zenia Moreano
Peer 4 U Peer Mentor

About Zenia

I have been in recovery since 2019, in early recovery I came across many barriers. The help and support I got from other recovering addicts inspired me to help others in my situation. I am very aware of the need to support the most vulnerable in my hometown. I volunteer at the Temporary bed unit.  I have been to college and gained qualifications in Health and social care level 2.  I now work at Empowerment as a Peer Mentor.  I have a passion for helping others and love to watch people turning their lives around.

Patricia Entwistle Peer 4 U Peer Mentor

About Patricia

I have lived around Blackpool for fifteen years and have made it my home. I feel strongly about helping people here to turn their lives around. I started working for empowerment in March as a Peer 4 U mentor because I have a passion for helping people with multiple complex needs. I believe and want, everyone to have a voice.

I am on the Lived Experience Team and am a volunteer for Fulfilling Lives and have volunteered for Inspire, I did 1 year volunteer work in a rehabilitation unit and volunteered in soup kitchens. I have done a lot of courses on drug and alcohol and mental health awareness. I am currently in college for health and social care. I am excited about working with Empowerment because I have recovered from these issues and love seeing people get well.

Neil Hatrison-Scott
Peer 4 U Peer Mentor

About Neil

I started volunteering in a peer-led support group I am part of in Blackpool in 2019. I found that I enjoyed the role of co-facilitating groups which helped me with my needs  (being in recovery  from substance misuse, and still in supported housing myself).

I decided to study Level 2 qualifications in Health + Social Care as well as Safeguarding, which I passed in 2020. I am currently studying Substance Misuse Interventions and hope to pass my Level 3 in Substance Misuse later this year.

I am enjoying my experience in mentoring and supporting people with similar needs I had myself. I enjoy showing my gratitude by giving back to people I can relate to.  I now wake up every morning with a purpose, which keeps me focused.

Nicola Plumb
Lived Experience Team Manager

About Nicola

I started working with Empowerment in July 2014 as an Apprentice Navigator for the Fulfilling Lives Programme after a period of volunteering within Blackpool substance misuse services. During this time I started my Bachelors degree in Health and Social Care and to develop new skills I also went to work for a partner agency as Life Skills Coordinator.

Due to my passion for Empowerment and the Fulfilling Lives programme I returned 12 months later as Volunteer Coordinator. From this I progressed within my role and took on more responsibility as the Lived Experience Team Manager.

My passion has always been to get the voices of people who use services heard and to create an easier pathway to accessing services in Blackpool for people with Multiple and Complex Needs, which this role allows me to do with the support of Empowerment and the Lived Experience Team.

Peer4U is funded by the Building Connections Fund, government funding distributed by the National Lottery Community Fund.