Could our mentors help you look for work?

Press Release: 10/02/2015

Volunteer

Winchester City Council is working with the national charity Sova to provide a new service to help unemployed people to find work.

The employment mentoring service has recruited and trained 11 volunteers to mentor unemployed people from across the Winchester District. These locally-recruited individuals are now ready to provide practical and moral support as well as basic advice and signposting to other services.

The service will receive referrals from a range of agencies including Job Centre Plus and Winchester City Council’s own housing team. However, there are others who could benefit from this service who are not claiming job seekers allowance or who are off the radar when it comes to getting support from these agencies. It’s these people that Sova wants to hear from. Local people don’t have to be registered as unemployed to benefit from this new service. The service also helps those who are underemployed and not fulfilling their full potential as well as anyone who has not been in a job for some time because they have been caring for children or parents

Cllr Robert Humby, Leader of Winchester City Council, said:

Some people may be surprised that this service is needed at all in Winchester. However, the service is needed all-the-more in an area where unemployment is relatively low because those who are unemployed can need more help than elsewhere.

Everyone’s individual circumstances are different and for this reason we are providing a one-to-one service to help, rather than the generic support which has traditionally been offered and sometimes fails to meet the complex needs of those struggling to find work.

The service will be tailored to suit each individual who will be carefully matched with a dedicated mentor. The employment mentoring service is provided free of charge by Winchester City Council as one of its many initiatives that aim to change lives by getting people into work and training.

Suzanne, who has completed the very thorough training to become 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 work of volunteer mentors could include giving practical advice by helping with CVs, job searches and interview techniques. Mentors can assist people to develop new skills such as in ICT or budgeting, whilst working with organisations to source training and volunteering opportunities to improve the job prospects of their mentee. Fully trained mentors will signpost people to specialist services that can help people to move towards employment.

If you would like help with finding work and you live within the Winchester District please contact Alex Solomon at asolomon@winchester.gov.uk or on 01962 848 396 or 07980732005. For further information about the employment mentoring service visit www.winchester.gov.uk/employmentmentoring