Winchester job-seekers need you

Press Release: 02/04/2015

Volunteers with their certificates

Winchester District Employment Mentoring, a new service officially launched last month to help unemployed people back into work, is in need of new volunteers already.

The project, which is funded by Winchester City Council and run by national charity Sova, recruits local mentors to provide practical and moral support to unemployed residents in the Winchester District and is going from strength to strength.

The scheme is in place because Winchester City Council recognised that each individual has a different path and different challenges to face on their journey to employment. These may be chaotic family lives or cultural pressures, the lack of essential skills and qualifications needed to progress, or low confidence or motivation.

Alex Solomon, Sova’s Project Manager who is running the service in the Winchester District, said:

Due to a high level of demand from job-seekers wishing to use the service, we are now looking to recruit a second cohort of volunteers.

Suzanne, who recently became a volunteer mentor, added:

Becoming a Sova mentor interested me because I strongly believe everyone deserves a chance in life to succeed to their full potential. Helping each person to achieve their own personal goals, no matter how big or small, would be a great achievement for me too.

The project is looking for mentors to help unemployed people living within the Winchester District. No formal qualifications or experience are necessary, but volunteers will need to be committed to supporting others, have good listening and communication skills and demonstrate a non-judgmental attitude.

In return you could help change people’s lives and make a real difference. By volunteering you could help someone get their first apprenticeship or give someone who feels they are without prospects the confidence to realise long- held aspirations.

All mentors will receive on-going supervision and thorough training. The next training course will take place on 15, 22 and 29 May.

Sova are also looking for people who can help the project in other ways, for example by delivering leaflets and publicity material.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed. Volunteering can provide you with valuable work experience that could benefit your job prospects.

If you would like to mentor a job-seeker please contact Alex Solomon at asolomon@winchester.gov.uk or on 01962 848 396 or 07980 732 005. For information about the employment mentoring service visit www.winchester.gov.uk/employmentmentoring