Could you help someone on their journey to employment?

Press Release: 27/10/2015

Winchester District Employment Mentoring, a service that helps unemployed people back into work, is already in need of a third cohort of new volunteers. Despite a fall in unemployment levels over the last year, the service has continued to be highly popular, which means more volunteers are needed to help.

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 different challenges to face on their journey to employment. These may be family or cultural pressures, the lack of essential skills and qualifications needed to progress, or low confidence or motivation.

Beverly, a service user who has been on the project for four months, said:

I have found the mentoring a very positive and motivating experience. It has kept me focussed and has encouraged me to keep progressing towards my goal.

Sova is looking for new volunteer 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.

Beverley’s mentor, Louise, said:

Mentoring for Sova has boosted my self confidence more than I could ever have imagined. Every step, no matter how small, that a mentee takes on their mentoring journey gives me so much satisfaction and reminds me of why I wanted to be a mentor in the first place.

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

The enthusiasm and support of our volunteer mentors has helped mentees achieve things that they have always wanted to, such as having the confidence to start a college course, to set up their own business or to start a work placement.

All mentors will receive on-going supervision and thorough training. The next training course will take place on 26, 27 and 30 November 2015.

Travel expenses will be reimbursed, so volunteers just need to commit their time, skills and experience. Volunteering can provide you with valuable work experience that could benefit your own job prospects, and provide a way for you to give something back to your local community.

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 732005. For information about the employment mentoring service visit www.winchester.gov.uk/employmentmentoring