Sova & CRI launch a new project in the London Borough of Greenwich to help reduce reoffending

Sova and CRI are working together for the first time to support adult ex-offenders that have a history of Class A substance misuse

From April 2014, Sova and CRI launched a new service to help reduce reoffending in Greenwich, London.  Drawing on expertise from CRI in supporting offenders with substance misuse and Sova’s expertise of recruiting and supporting  volunteers, together we will be helping people steer clear of crime.  Sova will be recruiting volunteer mentors to support offenders in conjunction with CRI’s DIP, including in-reach and out-reach work to give them a better chance of steering clear of crime and/or substance misuse.
Our Sova volunteer mentors will be supporting offenders on a one to one basis to ensure they are supported and encouraged in making positive choices, as well as assisting them in practical areas such as housing, attending appointments and budgeting.  The service offers volunteer mentors the opportunity to work with offenders in custody prior to release and also in the community. This enhanced and focused intervention will help people engage with treatment away from drug and alcohol use and criminal activity. 
Amana Wilkins (Sova Project Manager) says  “This is an exciting time for Sova, since merging with CRI we are now in the position to start our journey together at project level with the new CRI DIP service in Greenwich.  Sova and CRI share a vision, a values base and an aspiration to help those in need.  With the implementation of this project we are in an excellent position to develop our partnership working with CRI and lay the foundations for all future Sova CRI projects. It's been fantastic being part of it  and I would like to thank all my colleagues who have also helped.
On 16th May 2014, CRI and Sova officially launched the event to share the news with staff, partners and service users.  The event took place at Greenwich DIP, with an afternoon filled with tea, cake and conversations around our new and exciting partnership took place.  Existing service users were able to meet ex-service users who have benefited from Sova support and there was a genuine enthusiasm for the future.   Peter Merrifield (CRI Greenwich DIP Project Manager) said  “The first commissioned partnership between CRI and Sova represents a new beginning in offender management.
Characterised by innovative and dynamic partnership working; offenders will be supported to enact positive changes in their lives. Our case managers will utilise their expertise in substance use and offending behaviour, to increase recovery capital, whilst reducing re-offending. In addition, the specialist skills provided by Sova volunteer mentors will allow for a holistic approach to treatment resulting in increased client aspirations, support networks and positive community involvement.”
If you would like to volunteer on this project or find out more then please see Sova CRI Greenwich Mentoring.