Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions about Aurora Project Lambeth do contact us on 0207 7338221 but do have a read through the frequently asked questions below first!
What will I get out of being a client of Aurora Project Lambeth?
How can I become a client of Aurora Project Lambeth?
Can I refer myself to Aurora Project Lambeth?
I am not currently in treatment for drug/alcohol use. Can I still be a client of Aurora?
I am not currently abstinent from drugs/alcohol. Can I still be a client of Aurora?
Apart from peer mentoring, what other services can Aurora offer me?
I do not want to have a peer mentor but I would like to come to some of the groups. Can I do this?
Is everything I tell my mentor strictly confidential?
How will you match me with a suitable peer mentor?
What if I don’t like the mentor you match me with?
I have been contacted by Aurora and Jenni has matched me to a volunteer peer mentor. What is the next step?
What can I expect on my first day at Aurora?
I want to be a volunteer with Aurora Project Lambeth but I am still in treatment / not abstinent, is that ok?
What knowledge or experience do I need to become a volunteer at Aurora Project Lambeth?
How can I apply to volunteer?
What does being a volunteer at Aurora entail?
What training will I receive from Aurora Project Lambeth?
What ongoing support will I receive from Aurora Project Lambeth?
How do I refer my client to Aurora Project Lambeth? referral form
What if my client does not want a peer mentor but does want to participate in groups at Aurora?
What can Aurora Project Lambeth offer to my client?
Apart from peer mentoring, what other services can my client benefit from at Aurora?
I have a client who needs to be accompanied from detox to rehab or to a meeting. Can Aurora Project Lambeth help?
Your service is delivered by volunteers with a history of substance or alcohol use. Is it safe?
Will you update me on my client’s progress?
Will you tell me if the client I referred is attending sessions at Aurora Project Lambeth?
How long does it take for you to get in contact with a client once a referral has been made?
What will I get out of being a client of Aurora Project Lambeth? There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach at Aurora. We will work closely with you to establish what your goals are and what you want to get out of working with us. Then we will try to support you in achieving this. Our volunteer peer mentors can offer emotional support – someone to talk through your problems with, someone to help you gain perspective on things, someone who has been through it themselves and can empathise with you. They can also give you practical support – accompanying you to meetings or groups, helping you with problems you may be having with finances, housing, benefits etc, helping you to find opportunities in employment, education, or volunteering. As a client of Aurora, you will also be able to participate in the various groups we run here. We hold a weekly Art Group where clients can develop their artistic skills and work on expressing themselves creatively. We also have a monthly Book Group where we read a selection of titles and then meet to discuss them in an informal and friendly context. We also organise trips and have recently enjoyed art workshops at the National Portrait Gallery, a visit to an exhibition, and a trip to the theatre. In addition to these social opportunities, we also host a weekly Smart Recovery meeting. Smart Recovery is a science based mutual support group, based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy principles.
How can I become a client of Aurora Project Lambeth? To become a client of Aurora, you will need to ask your doctor or key worker to refer you to us. To become a client of Aurora Project Lambeth you do need to be in treatment for substance or alcohol use.
Can I refer myself to Aurora Project Lambeth? It is not possible to refer yourself to Aurora. You will need to ask your doctor or key worker to refer you to us. If you are unsure whether or not you will be eligible to take part in the project do give us a call on 0207 733 8221.
I am not currently in treatment for drug/alcohol use. Can I still be a client of Aurora? At Aurora, we only work with clients who are currently in treatment for their drug or alcohol use. If you think you need to seek treatment for your drug or alcohol use, your first point of contact should be Lorraine Hewitt House in Brixton. They will then assign you a key worker, who can in turn refer you to us.
I am not currently abstinent from drugs/alcohol. Can I still be a client of Aurora? Yes, you can still be a client of Aurora even if you are not currently abstinent from drugs or alcohol. Many of our clients are working towards reducing or abstaining altogether from drugs or alcohol, but we realise that this is a process and can work with you towards achieving this.
Apart from peer mentoring, what other services can Aurora offer me? Apart from peer mentoring, Aurora offers several other opportunities to clients. Clients can join the weekly Art Group which meets on a Tuesday afternoon between 1-3pm. This group is an opportunity to develop your artistic skills and express yourself creatively. Everyone is welcome, from complete beginners to established artists. The group is relaxed and informal and is a great opportunity to get to know other people also in treatment. All materials are provided. The members of the Art Group have also been given the opportunity to exhibit their work and we hope to do this again in the future.
The Book Group meets once a month. We choose a title together and then meet to talk about our responses to it in a relaxed setting over a cup of tea.
In addition to these regular groups, we also offer occasional trips. Recently we have visited the National Portrait Gallery for a workshop, been to the Portrait Awards, and gone on a trip to the theatre. We look forward to more trips of this kind in the future.
In addition to these groups, we also host a weekly Smart Recovery group. Smart Recovery is a mutual support, science-based approach to dealing with addictive and compulsive tendencies which uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy techniques to help people to overcome their addictive behaviours.
I do not want to have a peer mentor but I would like to come to some of the groups. Can I do this? If you do not want a peer mentor but would like to attend the groups at Aurora, your key worker can refer you to us just to attend the groups.
Is everything I tell my mentor strictly confidential? Yes, everything you tell your mentor is treated with the strictest confidence. We do not tell your key worker anything you disclose to us, unless you give us your permission to do so. The only situation in which we would break this confidentiality is if you reveal something that leads us to believe that you are in danger, or that you are a danger to someone else. In this case, your mentor would inform you that they would need to pass this information on to Jenni.
How will you match me with a suitable peer mentor? Jenni will match you to a peer mentor based on the information given on your referral form. You will be matched with a mentor who is of the same gender as you. We will also look at other factors such as age, whether you have interests in common, whether you have had similar experiences of drug/alcohol use etc.
What if I don’t like the mentor you match me with? We hope that when we match you to someone that you will get on well and be able to relate to each other. However we understand that this does not always happen and that sometimes people do not get on for whatever reason. If you think you are not connecting with your mentor, you should speak to Jenni and she will look into assigning you another mentor.
I have been contacted by Aurora and Jenni has matched me to a volunteer peer mentor. What is the next step? Once you have been matched to a peer mentor, you will receive a phone call from us to schedule an appointment. Then we will send you an induction pack by post. This will contain general information about the organisation, and will also give you directions how to get here and confirmation of the day and time of your first appointment.
What can I expect on my first day at Aurora? When you arrive at the office for your first appointment with your mentor, you will be met by Jenni, the Service Delivery Manager. Jenni will introduce you to your new peer mentor. Your first meeting with your mentor will take place on site, and it’s all just about getting to know each other. Your mentor will talk you through and ask you to sign a Mentoring Agreement. This states the times you will meet and how regularly your meetings will take place. This Mentoring Agreement will last for 6 months, with a possibility of extension if necessary. Once the paperwork has been taken care of, the rest of the session will be led by you. It would be helpful to tell your mentor a bit about yourself, what some of your goals are, and what you are hoping to get out of your mentoring sessions together.
I want to be a volunteer with Aurora Project Lambeth but I am still in treatment / not abstinent, is that ok? We ask that all of our volunteers are at least 6 months illicit drug or alcohol free. This is important because we want our volunteers to be able to focus on their clients’ needs and not disrupt their own recovery journey. If you have any questions or concerns about this do call Jenni for a chat on 0207 733 8221.
What knowledge or experience do I need to become a volunteer at Aurora Project Lambeth? You do not need any experience of working or volunteering in a similar role, as all the training will be provided by Aurora Project Lambeth. We only ask that all of our volunteers have personally been through recovery from drug or alcohol use so that their clients can benefit from their knowledge and experience. We ask that all potential volunteers have been stable in their recovery for at least 6 months and that they are illicit drug free (or alcohol free, if that was what they were being treated for) for this time.
How can I apply to volunteer? You can apply to be a volunteer by downloading the Application Form in the Volunteers section of the website. If you would like a hard copy of the Application Form, please call or email or drop by the office.
What does being a volunteer at Aurora entail? As a volunteer for Aurora, you will be expected to attend three training sessions. You will initially be assigned only one client. Jenni, the Service Delivery Manager, will collaborate with you to select an appropriate client for you. You and your client will work together to set goals and arrange regular meetings. The support you will offer your client will depend on their needs. Jenni will work closely to you to ensure that things are going well with your client and that you are happy with the ongoing arrangement. You will attend a debrief with Jenni after every session. Once you are settled into a routine with one client, we can arrange for you to take on others if this is what you want. Appointments will be made to suit your schedule and we always work hard to be flexible and accommodating to your needs.
What training will I receive from Aurora Project Lambeth? Your initial training will comprise three day-long sessions where you will look at mentoring skills and tools. This training covers Goal Setting with Clients, Listening Skills, Boundaries and Safety and much more!
Ongoing training sessions are offered periodically throughout the year. Recent training sessions have included Drug Awareness, Overdose Training, and Club Drugs Training, as well as visiting speakers from the Smoking Cessation Services and the Injectable Clinic.
What ongoing support will I receive from Aurora Project Lambeth? We are aware that all of our volunteers will have been through treatment for substance or alcohol use and may be working directly with clients who may still be actively using or drinking so we try to offer as much relapse prevention support as possible. We also know that being a Peer Mentor is a role that sees volunteers working with clients in often emotional circumstances so we offer the following support to our volunteers:
One to one sessions with Jenni, the Service Delivery Manager
Regular team meetings throughout the year to share concerns and ideas
Clinical supervision on a 6 weekly basis with two Psychologists
Chances throughout the year to meet the team and support in each other in a relaxed friendly environment
How do I refer my client to Aurora Project Lambeth? Referring a client to Aurora Project Lambeth is easy: you just need to fill out a referral form. Before you start filling out the referral form, make sure you have read the Referral Guidelines. We recommend that you fill out the referral form with your client as it does ask for information about the client’s hobbies, interests, and what type of mentor they feel they would get on with. Part of the Referral Form does include a space for clients to complete themselves.
Make sure that you fill out the correct referral form. If you are referring your client for Peer Mentoring, fill out this form. If you are referring your client to attend the Art or Book Group, please use this form.
Please note that all of our groups are offered to clients receiving peer mentoring so you don't need to fill out both forms.
What if my client does not want a peer mentor but does want to participate in groups at Aurora? We sometimes get clients who don't want to receive one to one peer mentoring. They are still welcome to attend our groups. To refer a client to groups only, simply fill out the Group Work Referral Form.
What can Aurora Project Lambeth offer to my client? We can offer emotional support and empathy, but most importantly we offer a non-judgemental attitude through one to one peer mentoring sessions. We can help clients with day to day tasks that can sometimes feel overwhelming, such as filling out forms, making appointments and helping clients to take control of issues that may be holding them back.
Our volunteers can help to link clients into social clubs and groups for individuals in treatment for substance misuse in Lambeth. Aurora Project Lambeth Volunteers will be able to support clients through difficult times and difficult situations.
In addition to all of the above, Aurora Project Lambeth offers the chance for clients to get involved in groups such as the project’s Art Group and Book Group. Throughout the year, we try to hold as many away days as possible and recent events have included free trips to the theatre and to workshops at the National Portrait Gallery.
Apart from peer mentoring, what other services can my client benefit from at Aurora? In addition to peer mentoring, Aurora Project Lambeth offers the chance for clients to get involved in groups such as the project’s Art Group and Book Group. Throughout the year, we try to hold as many away days as possible and recent events have included free trips to the theatre and to workshops at the National Portrait Gallery.
I have a client who needs to be accompanied from detox to rehab or to a meeting. Can Aurora Project Lambeth help? Yes! Our volunteers are often out and about accompanying clients from detox to rehab, from rehab to home, from home to the hospital and many other places. If you have a client who needs this type of support please give us a call on 0207 733 8221 to discuss. We do ask that the referring agency covers the cost of travel for the volunteer if the accompaniment will take them out of Lambeth.
For hospital accompaniments, do check with the hospital first, as they may be able to offer a more specialised befriending service or hospital transport for your client.
Your service is delivered by volunteers with a history of substance or alcohol use. Is it safe? Yes, all of our services are delivered by volunteers who have history of receiving treatment for substance or alcohol use but they are now in recovery and very stable. Our volunteers receive extensive training before they become a Peer Mentor. This training covers boundaries, safety and safeguarding. In addition, reference and DBS checks are carried out on all our volunteers. Peer Mentors are given substantial support and client / mentor relationships are monitored closely by the Service Delivery Manager.
Will you update me on my client’s progress? We try our very best to work closely with all services referring clients to us. We offer a completely confidential service for clients, so we won’t pass on any of what your client is working on with their mentor without their permission first.
After three months of engaging in one to one support, the client will be encouraged to work with their mentor to produce an update to send to the person that made the referral to Aurora Project Lambeth and any other organisations that are working with them. These updates include any successes the client has had, any big achievements or changes they have made as well as issues or tasks they have been struggling with. The update will also include a section on what the client and volunteer will work on for the next 3 months.
These updates are not mandatory and if clients feel uncomfortable passing them on to you, they don't have to.
Will you tell me if the client I referred is attending sessions at Aurora Project Lambeth? We offer a completely confidential service for clients. If a client chooses not to engage with Aurora Project Lambeth, they will be asked if they mind us telling the referrer. If at this stage they are happy for us to let you know, we will, but if they would prefer us not tell you we won’t.
How long does it take for you to get in contact with a client once a referral has been made? We will get in touch with your client within 10 days of receiving a referral form. We will call the client up to three times and after that, if contact still has not been made, we will post them a letter asking them to get in touch with us.