Spring is upon us! How we spent March at TWG!

March has been an extremely busy month here at the Wise Group. With the launch of our 5 year strategy, lots of events and the publication of a new report and podcast, time has definitely flown in! Read more about what we’ve gotten up to below! 

On the 5th and 6th of March our Sunderland Relational Mentoring team attended a corporate volunteering event, where Pallion Action Group acquired an old bowling pavilion in Sunderland. The pavilion is being turned into a community hub accessible to all and will offer opportunities for small business development and social enterprise when it is complete.

Our colleague Martin worked to onboard volunteers from our Relational Mentoring team and partners on the we work with on this contract. This included Humankind, Foundation of light and Pallion Action Group, Back2Work, Sunderland City Council, Together for Children, Gentoo, Re-Gen, Enforcement Team, Connor Brown Trust, National Lottery – Community Fund, SCC Anti Social Behaviour Team, Metro Radio and local Councillors in Sunderland.

We spent 2 days at the site, working to make it accessible for the next phase of development. There was lots of manual labour and every single person smashed it!

Our Relational Mentoring colleagues in Scotland have also been working hard. With our first Communi-TEA event for International Women’s day being a huge hit, alongside the team passing 3000 referrals to the service our colleagues are moving from strength to strength! One particular customer story, shared by our colleague Stephen also shows the huge impact the service has: 

“my personal highlight this month was getting one of my customers to attend a hospital appointment to get the treatment he needed for his health condition, when he was taken through to be treated one of the doctors came out and called me over to shake my hand and congratulate me for getting him there as he had missed around 9 previous appointments and they where concerned he might have waited too long, however thanks to us getting my customer to attend this appointment the doctor assured us he will make a full recovery with no long term negative effects!”

An amazing outcome!

Our Justice colleagues have also been busy bee’s the past month! With International Women’s Day being celebrated across the enterprise our MOJ England Women’s services Team took the time to get involved! This year, they collaborated with Probation Officers and support workers from our CFO contract in effort to support women in our community. These events were held at our Wise Group Darlington Hub and CRS hubs in both Peterlee and Durham.

Customers, colleagues, and stakeholders were all invited to join in on the festivities, creating a sense of inclusivity and unity. The day was filled with various activities, games, and raffles, providing an opportunity for everyone to come together and have fun. In addition, clothing, self-care packs, and food and drinks were provided, ensuring that everyone felt pampered and appreciated. One of the highlights of the event was the opportunity for women to receive nail and hair treatments, allowing them to feel glamorous and confident.

But the celebration was not just about superficial appearances. It was also a day for growth and inspiration. Colleagues with lived experience shared their own personal journeys and insights, providing encouragement and support for others. The event was a platform for empowerment, education, and support for women of all backgrounds. It served as a reminder of the strength and diversity of women and the valuable contributions they make to society.

Our EPOP colleagues also shared some highlights! Our colleague, Julia, shared: 

I have 2 highlights from March. Firstly was the Virtual coffee for International Womens Day, Suzanne Miller, Sharon Pickup and Rebecca Dalziel  were amazing!. Reading the comments from male and female colleagues gave me tingles, there was so much (virtual) love and support in the room for all Wise Group colleagues. 

Secondly was the Durham Justice Roundtable with Lord Walney and Ruth Cadbury, the Shadow Minister for Prisons, Probation and Parole. It was a pleasure to be part of such meaningful conversations with inspiring colleagues and partners. We discussed the justice system and the potential of relational mentoring to not only reduce reoffending but also to empower people to change their life for the better. It was also fantastic to hear the Through The Gate contract talked about so positively by one of our partners nearly 3 years after it ended 🙂”

In employment, our Fair Start Scotland team stopped taking referrals as of the 31st of March. This signals the ending of a life changing and hugely impactful project! The team will still work with current customers and we cannot wait to start sharing some stories of the impact Fair Start Scotland has had over the years. A huge congratulations to the team for all their successes!

Internally, it has also been a mammoth month! Our 5 year strategy was launched, showing our colleagues our goals for the next five years. We had two People Leaders Sessions down in Newcastle, where our colleagues came together to share their thoughts and collaborate!

What a month! Well done to all involved!