Filling a vital support gap
16 Nov 2021
When former business owner David Timms was sentenced in 2017 for the final time, he realised what little support was available for people with a gambling addiction. Fast forward through his hours of community service and, thanks to Ingeus’s support and encouragement, he was soon helping to fill the gap in services which he would have benefitted from.
David, 42, explains, “If you’ve got a drug or alcohol addiction it’s easy to find help, but there wasn’t any support for people with gambling when I needed it. When Ingeus realised the skills I’d learned from having my own business, they encouraged me to become a peer mentor.”
Ingeus’ Commissioned Rehabilitative Services (CRS)
provide flexible, responsive services to help break the cycle of reoffending. They are delivered at a local level to provide tailored support with accommodation, personal wellbeing and education, training and employment. Ingeus encourages people like David to share their skills and experiences as a former user of these services with others who may benefit.
David volunteered as a peer mentor with Ingeus for two years, talking to service users and guiding them towards re-building their lives. The role also involved encouraging them to learn techniques to help them overcome their problems and work towards positive targets.
Praising the benefits of Ingeus’s mentoring service, he says, “Peer mentors have gone through the system and have lived through crime and other addictions. We’re perfect to talk to service users and help them gain the skills and knowledge to overcome their barriers. I’m living proof that the system works.”
During his time as a volunteer, David gained qualifications to become a health trainer and is currently working toward level three in the process. He’s now in a paid role with Ingeus’s CRS, using his qualifications to support service users in Chesterfield, while also working as a personal wellbeing mentor. Visiting service users on a one-to-one basis, he signposts them towards ways of improving their mental and physical health.
“I love what I do – it’s a worthwhile job and I look forward to seeing what each day will bring,” says David. “My knowledge and experience gives me a much better understanding when talking to service users than someone else might have.
“I’ve always found that praise follows hard work, and I’m certainly getting lots of praise. CRS is always on hand to offer me help with the job if I need it. Ingeus is a fantastic company to work for, they really support their employees.”