As the nation observes ‘National Recovery Month’, a graduation ceremony is set to take place in Taunton Somerset on Wednesday 6 September for those that have completed Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service’s (SDAS) ‘Peer Mentor’ training programme.

The group of graduates are all people who have successfully completed treatment through SDAS and will now be able to support others in treatment for their drug or alcohol use.

The programme is a 10-week, level 2 accredited training course which will enable them to support SDAS service users, co-facilitate groups and work with the relatives of service users.

National Recovery Month (September) promotes awareness and understanding of substance use and encourages individuals in need of treatment and recovery services.  The month is an opportunity to celebrate individuals living lives in recovery and to recognise the dedicated workers who provide the prevention, treatment and support services that help make recovery possible.

Cllr Adam Dance, Executive Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset Council said:

The Peer Mentor training programme is so important as it is exactly these people who are best placed to help others living lives so familiar to them.

Their lived experience will be a vital tool in helping to provide the essential non-judgemental support that others living with addiction so truly need.

This group of new Peer Mentors have been on an incredibly inspiring journey, and it is a remarkable achievement to have completed the course and now be able to make recovery a possibility for others.

Joseph Olubodun, Peer Mentors and Volunteers Team Leader at SDAS, said:

Money cannot buy all the knowledge and experience of the lived experience that our mentors will now bring to enhance our service delivery for those clients still in treatment.

We salute them all and celebrate their wonderful achievement.

One of SDAS’s current Peer Mentors, Daisy Gratton, was asked why she chose to do the training:

When I was ready to change, there were many friendly, caring hands reaching out to help. Peer mentoring is an opportunity to hold out my hand to help others.

Turning Point’s Somerset Drug and Alcohol Service (SDAS) is commissioned by Somerset Council and provides free and confidential support for adults, children and families affected by alcohol and other drugs.

For more information on SDAS and the training programme visit:

Joseph Olubodun, Peer Mentors and Volunteers Team Lead in a training session

About this article

September 5, 2023

Debbie Rundle

Press Release

Public Health