Peer mentoring success in the north east of England

The Wise Group has been awarded a contract by Advanced Personnel Management (APM) to support offenders move towards social inclusion and reduce re-offending in the north east of England. The project is funded by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and European Social Fund (ESF) and will run from 2015 until 2020.

All of the customers will take part in a series of core activities, which will help address the challenges that they face. They also have the opportunity to receive additional support from the Wise Group who will provide a specialist mentoring service to those in custody.

The mentoring will concentrate on those people that need intensive one-to-one support, to provide motivation and confidence building, and help them to navigate life and the prison system.

This project comes on the back of the success of the Wise Group New Routes programme which delivers a national mentoring service for prolific young male offenders throughout Scotland.

A unique feature of the New Routes partnership is the use of peer mentors. Many of the peer mentors have experienced similar issues as their customers and are able to demonstrate stability and desistance.  Critically they can draw on their own life experiences in offering support. This approach allows the mentors to quickly build an empathetic relationship with their customer.

Mentors are complemented by personal development and employability courses, family support and support agencies to ensure the customer has the best possible opportunities to remain outside of prison.

Laurie Russell, Chief Executive of the Wise Group says ‘it is great that we are able to transfer some of the knowledge that we have built up over 10 years to support people who have been in prison in the North East.  We have recruited a very committed team and I am confident that they will make a real difference to the lives of many people through their work.’

For further information on the project please contact Rob Stone on 0191 242 4898.