Sova Support Link shortlisted twice for Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards
Sova Support Link has been shortlisted in two categories for Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards - Specialist Services and Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System.
Sova Support Link supports high risk, high harm adult ex offenders with a diagnosis or traits of a personality disorder. The project has been going from strength to strength and has been jointly shortlisted with the London Pathways Partnership, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust in not one but two categories; Specialist Services and Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System.
Sova Support Link is currently funded by The London Pathways Partnership (LPP). LPP brings together four London mental health trusts, all of whom have a longstanding history and recognised expertise, in delivering effective psychological approaches to complex high risk offenders. Sova Support Link provides a team of highly skilled and professional volunteers to mentor people who are referred for additional support, across London. We also run a closed cafe, called New Horizons where service users can develop their interpersonal skills and improve their health and wellbeing through a variety of activities such as art and cooking.
One of our service users, Tim, who now helps us recruit and train new volunteers reflects on his journey with Sova.
"I joined Sova in 2010. I was introduced to my Hub and it was agreed that we would meet weekly for coffee and a chat. Usually we met in coffee shops in Greenwich, but occasionally we went to the cinema or art galleries in central London. After a year Dave and Lisa left and I was introduced to Jaycee and Natasha. I was doing voluntary work for my ex-landlord and my Hub was concerned that I was doing too much and was being taken advantage of. The voluntary work came to a disastrous end in July 2012 when I was accused of theft. I was kept on police bail for nearly 10 months but my Hub and Sova staff helped me to keep my head above board. One of my goals was to attend college and encouraged by Jaycee I enrolled on an Electrical Installation course at Level 2. I now meet my Hub in central London and I try not to use my poor health as an excuse not to attend. I value the time, effort and support that Warren, Jaycee and Natasha give me and could never thank them enough. I am now approaching the time for my support to end, but I have been asked to assist Sova interview new volunteers. I find this exhilarating and would like to thank Sarah and Ruth for asking me to help.I recommend Sova to anyone who needs support. THANK YOU SOVA!"
This is just one story, there are many more like Tim's. There are 14 service awards in total and Sova Support Link feel privileged to have been shortlisted alongside other organisations that do outstanding work. Sarah Connor (Area Manager) tells us "it is a huge accolade for Sova to be recognised" and "the volunteers attached to the project are incredible, they really are passionate about supporting a group of people who are often excluded from services".
The Announcement of the winners will take place at the Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 14th October in Newcastle. Sova and LPP have our fingers are crossed!