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The Wise Group is a social enterprise that aims to provide solutions to social problems through a variety of services aimed at helping people into employment, reducing reoffending and promoting sustainability.
Mentoring is used in the Wise Group’s Glasgow Employability Service to help people through the transition from benefits into work giving information and advice to help people sustain work, develop and progress. The service has dedicated Mentoring Advisors who work with individuals, and employers if required, contacting customers regularly to ensure everything is going well with their job and try to identify any issues as early as possible to help tackle them before they get in the way of work.
The Wise Group also leads the New Routes Partnership, a Public Social Partnership created to design and deliver a national mentoring service for prolific male offenders with outcomes that will contribute to reducing re-offending. The partnership also includes experienced third sector partners, including; Sacro, APEX, Turning Point Scotland, CIRCLE, YCSA, Families Outside and SAMH, that have delivered effective community based services to ex offenders in Scotland. The public sector partners not only include the key agencies involved in reducing re-offending – Community Justice Authorities (CJAs), the Scottish Prison Service and local authorities through the Association of Directors of Social Work (ADSW) – but also the National Prisoner Healthcare Network, representing NHS Boards and the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) in an advisory capacity on employability support and benefits.
A major feature of the New Routes Partnership will be the use of peer mentors that will be a few steps ahead of their customers and able to demonstrate stability and desistance, however critically they will be able to draw on their own life experiences in offering support. This approach allows the mentors to quickly build an empathetic relationship with their mentee. Mentors will be complemented by personal development courses, employability courses, family support to ensure the customer has the best possible opportunities to remain outside of prison.