Chris Black


Our National Quality and Participation Manager has been with Sova since 2009. A nerdy bookworm with a big heart, Chris is most proud of kicking off and growing the SPACE (Sova Participation and Continuing Engagement) initiative.

What made you want to work for Sova?
I’ve always worked for organisations where I know what I’m doing ultimately has a positive effect on someone’s life.
In previous employment and volunteering roles I had learnt about some of the barriers care leavers and unaccompanied asylum seeking children faced, and how marginalised and isolated they were in terms of statutory provision. I was convinced that volunteers can have a significant impact on the lives of such individuals, so in seeing Sova’s volunteer mentoring approach I thought - and still think - that by working for Sova I could contribute to being part of the solution.
What do you enjoy about working for Sova?
I think our projects do excellent work. Though I don’t deliver any face-to-face support in my current role, my consultation and service user involvement activities put me in regular contact with our service users and volunteers. I hear excellent feedback all the time regarding our projects, and I am proud to be part of an organisation that can mean so much to people.
How do you feel the work you do benefits those you work with?
I think the key benefit we bring is an open door. Almost all of the service users we work with have either been denied or have had difficulty in accessing a mainstream service. The support we provide, whether it’s through our volunteers or staff, can have a profound impact here. We motivate, inspire and remove barriers. Essentially we just make it easier for people to make changes in their life. The added benefit to this is that we provide them with someone they can talk to, someone they can share a bit of life’s burden with. When you feel isolated and that the world has given up on you, having someone who will listen, take a genuine interest and help you move forward is key.
What qualities do you need to do your job effectively?
Empathy, compassion and tenacity.
What do you think is the single most compelling argument to encourage someone to apply for a job at Sova?
As an organisation, we support a broad range of service users and have a skilled and determined workforce who strive to achieve the best possible outcomes for these individuals.