PEER mentors who have overcome struggles in life are using their experiences to help others in the community.

Twenty volunteers are giving up their free time to support individuals struggling to cope with problems.

It is part of Your Voice's 'Recovery Peer Mentor Project'.

The specially trained mentors will use their knowledge and experience to support people who may be socially isolated, looking to access a particular service or about to move on from a service into the community.

Jamie Conway, a recovery development worker at Your Voice, says the one-to-one support has proved very beneficial for people through their stages of recovery.

He said: "This is people in recovery moving on with their lives and giving something back.

"It's like social prescribing.

"People in the community are going to be there to support other people and take them to places where they are going to get further aftercare support.

"If it can help people to just take that next step then it means it's working."

Jamie, who is a recovered drug addict, said he knows too well the impact social isolation can have.

He said: "I know through my experience that I couldn't hold a conversation with anybody, I didn't know what to say.

"So this is about helping people to get back in touch with who they are as a person and seeing what will benefit them.

"It can be scary for them but we are there to support that process."

Jamie says the peer support service is for anyone struggling in the community, whether it is people battling addiction or those who are socially isolated.

He added: "The idea is that peer mentors work with people to promote self dependence and encourage people to become independent.

"It's also to make them understand that they have got the capability to move on with their lives.

"Everyone has resilience in them, it's about understanding that and how they can use it."

Anyone who would like more information about the project is asked to phone Your Voice on 728628.