Stockport Ambassador Programme

Think Pieces

By Danielle Churchill · September 29, 2023

Our work in Stockport

Our Stockport Ambassador Lead, Danielle Churchill, wrote:  

“Our Ambassador Programme provides a route for people with Lived Experience to give something back, offering guidance, support, qualifications, and skills for learners to create the things they want to see in their local community. It is a fantastic opportunity for learners to build the Community they want to see and can complete up to 1 year of Ambassador work as part of a personalised action plan; creating a skills, training, and qualification portfolio to move on and achieve their personalised end goal. The programme gives learners the chance to: 

  • Create new opportunities locally to support the Service and the Stockport Community. 
  • Volunteer within the service. 
  • Map what local Community resources are available and link in with them. 
  • Build relationships and pathways for referrals to and from local organisations. 
  • Engage with the hardest-to-reach individuals in the places where they are. 
  • Utilise lived experience to support others to successfully exit Support Services. 
  • Set up their own ideas within the Community. 
  • Have ongoing guidance and planning to assist and empower them towards sustainable employment. 
  • Gain practical and transferrable life skills. 

Once completed the programme, learners gain a Level 2 I.A.G qualification which enables them to provide Information, Advice or Guidance for people who need specialist support services, plus additional training on Safeguarding, Boundaries, Domestic Abuse Awareness, Risk and Escalation and Drug and Alcohol.  

So far completed learners have started volunteering within the service, some have gone to the Pennine Mental Health wards, Stepping Hill Hospital, SPARC Mental Health, the Olive Branch Community Café, and the Women’s Centre; some have started paid work and one learner has just secured paid employment with Stockport Homes after being in treatment and out of work for 25 years.  

A few of our learners have started their own thing; Debbie has started a new group at Brinnington Life Leisure with the aim of getting local people connected and more active. Within this community group, participants have played quizzes, badminton, and table tennis, joined the community gym there and are now leading a more active life. Sue is due to start her sewing group on the 29th September where she will be teaching people the gift of sewing and creating clothing using recycled garments and scraps of fabric, helping people save money and the environment. 

Together we have co-created a new Volunteer Service for SDAS with new roles and job descriptions. All of them have gone above and beyond what has been asked: 

  • Catherine covers reception and has developed a Wellbeing group which is inundated every week.  
  • Alicia has revamped, tidied, and taken on the Needle Exchange.  
  • Neil has created new group work including art for clients who struggle with reading. 
  • Sue and Alison manage reception and together with the other Ambassadors they’ve helped deliver service events and are currently planning and running the Recovery month celebration day with games and quizzes planned.  

Click here to read more about the work our Stockport Ambassadors are doing

I’d like to personally thank Neil for all the work he does at home, designing, creating, and making the games and artwork for the service. 

I am very proud of all the Ambassadors and what they have achieved so far. I took on the role of the Ambassador Lead as I’m aware people coming through services are very able and skilled individuals and knew this programme would give them the platform to grow and move forward, but I have been blown away by their commitment to the Service, local community and what they have achieved so far.”