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Information on Volunteers and Mentors

Volunteer or mentors for youth are individuals of all ages, walks of life, races, and religions who enjoy companionship and helping people.  Some of them have had experiences with loneliness and difficult times in their own lives, which enables them to bring a special understanding to the relationship.  Volunteers/mentors provide social, recreational, and educational opportunities to the adults and children matched in the program.  The Compeer program is regarded as an adjunct to therapy. 

Volunteers/mentors are screened, trained, and matched by Compeer staff. References are required from all the volunteers/mentors to help assure reliability and consistency.  Every Compeer match is based on mutual preference and interest. Once the volunteer/mentor chooses a friend, then they will meet the referring therapist.  In  youth matches, the mentor also meets the parent(s)/guardian(s) of the child.  On-going education and continuing support are provided from all these sources.
Volunteers/mentors are asked to spend at least four hours a month with their friend. The commitment the volunteer makes is completely flexible and may be tailored to your schedule.
All Compeer asks for is a simple monthly report which lists the time and activities the match shares together and also any concerns about their friend's welfare. The mental health professional also receives a copy of the report to be kept up to date on the friendship as well as any concerns.

In addition to having fun together, the volunteer/mentor may be able to advocate on behalf of their friend concerning housing, disabilities, etc. The volunteer/mentor is not a therapist, but a friend who becomes a helpful part of the mental health team.

Volunteers report that Compeer is personally satisfying for them as well as being very helpful to their friends. Many of the friendships established through Compeer become lifetime associations. Some volunteers have more than one friend and also give their time to help others become involved in Compeer.
Compeer is also a highly effective program in helping people move toward a normal, well-adjusted life in the community.  From a financial point of view, the friendly association provided by Compeer volunteers has proven to save money by reducing psychiatric hospitalizations.
If you can be a friend or mentor, you can be a Compeer.  Call (716) 487-2956 for more information on volunteering.

200 HARRISON STREET JAMESTOWN, NY 14701 (716) 487-2956 FAX (716) 484-3989

715 CENTRAL AVENUE DUNKIRK, NY 14048 (716) 366-7792 EXT. 208 FAX (716) 366-7840


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