A FREE service is running in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly and Torfaen to help people tackle substance misuse and drug and alcohol problems.

Peer Mentoring Wales is a European funded project being run by Drugaid to help people overcome drug and alcohol misuse and move forward into paid employment.

This is by helping people who are recovering from these sorts of problems to become volunteer or paid peer mentors who help others starting out on the same journey.

The peer mentors receive an Agored Cymru Peer Mentoring Qualification when qualified and make a difference in being available as someone who understands the problem of substance misuse who is willing to listen and can help others.

Jim, 31, had struggled with alcohol for many years before he successfully completed a detoxification programme.

Now he is a qualified paid peer mentor and said the service has been key to his recovery.

He said: "Being a peer mentor became the first thing I had really cared about for a long time.

"I would ask anyone considering the service to please recognise that there is no difference between you and us as peer mentors; we have been where you are, we are just a little further on the journey and here to help you along."

For more information about Peer Mentoring Wales call, 01685 721991.