At Sova Connect East of England we provide a mentoring service to adults who are serving custody or community sentences.

We work together with our service users to motivate, encourage and support them in removing the barriers that are getting in the way of them achieving their goals for social inclusion, including employment. service users meet with a Case Officer and a volunteer in their local area to aid their integration back into the community and provide support when individuals are re-locating to an unknown area.

All of our volunteers are fully trained and supported.  Sova Connect East of England is funded by the Co-financing Organisation (CFO) of the European Social Fund (ESF) through the Shaw Trust in partnership with Change Grow Live (CGL).  For further information please contact Grace Harland. 

Sham, one of our Case Officers, has been working with a participant, supporting them with confidence building and preparing a CV with them to develop for future work.

The participant had been suffering from low confidence and self –esteem and suffers from anxiety. He had never worked previously so the Sova mentoring sessions enabled him to put together his CV, which he claimed “really motivated him.” They explored voluntary roles for him to approach and apply for. The participant wanted to volunteer for the British Heart Foundation (BHF). Sham researched background information on the BHF website to help him prepare for his interview. They went through some interview questions that previous volunteers had shared on the website and prepared and practiced answers.

In another session Sham and the participant worked on his CV and held a further mock interview skills session. After the interview skills session, the participant said “I am not worried about what to say, I now feel confident in what I need to say.”

This participant attended all four mentoring sessions, he did everything Sham asked him to do and always arrived on time.

Sham says “I am proud of his progress and every time I praised him for his positive contributions or being punctual, he had a massive smile on his face and he felt proud of himself!”

I feel a lot more confident around job interviews, not so anxious, definitely improved!