David's story

David was serving a sentence at a Young Offenders’ Institute and had struggled to engage with supportive services available within the prison. As a result, there was much concern about the possibility of him re-offending post-release.
David was referred to Sova’s ‘through the gate’ service, which operates inside and outside of the prison. David met with Grace, a Sova staff member, who explained that she could match him up with a volunteer mentor who would be ableto help him deal with the issues he was encountering pre and post release. David was understandably hesitant, explaining that he had been let down by numerous professionals and couldn’t see what difference the project would make. Grace didn’t give up – she could see that David needed the support.
Grace continued to meet with David informally, showing a genuine interest in him and his future whilst tentatively exploring some of his issues. As the relationship between them grew, David decided to give the mentoring a go.
David was matched with a Sova Mentor, Karen, with whom he soon established a trusting relationship. Karen began by helping David to make an action plan using Sova’s Impact Star assessment tool. David had shown an interest in becoming a tradesman so Karen began researching courses that would be available for him post release. Whilst in custody, David and Karen would spend time practicing interview techniques and thinking through potentially difficult scenarios. David was able to talk to Karen about the unforeseen news that he would be released to a bail hostel.
On release from prison, David and Karen continued to meet up in the local community. Karen was able to support David to re-settle, helping him to register with his doctor and his local Jobcentre. David also began attending the course Karen had secured for him - a sure fire testament to the strength of the mentoring relationship and the positive contribution Sova’s intervention made in helping him realise a better future.
* Identities have been changed throughout.