Shine has so far received a total of 680 referrals, reaching 94% of the originally stated project target. This excellent news and can be attributed to the exceptional hard work and dedication of the mentors, SPS staff and members of the Shine PSP Programme and Project Boards. All have worked together to find solutions and successfully overcome any challenges that the project has faced.
Shine has seen average monthly prison referrals rise over 50% for the next reporting period, compared with the period April 2013 to October 13. Community referrals have evened out at an average of 22 per month.
This reflects the gradual increase towards full recruitment of the Shine mentors, which saw all 24 posts filled in March 2014. Each mentor is currently working with an average of 28 mentees over a 12 month period, which is just over 94% of the original target.
New full-time mentors covering the Scottish Borders and West Lothian are also now in place.
A new full-time Shine programme administrator has been employed concentrating on developing the Shine mentor induction pack, focusing on six-monthly data collection and streamlining the reporting process.
The Scottish Government have also agreed the Shine underspend, which will likely have a positive impact on staffing and the number of Shine mentors could increase.
Circle Scotland has seen the departure of a very experienced and valued member of Shine PSP, Marina Shaw, and Angela Curran of Barnardos South West Scotland, is due to retire. Both will be missed. Georgina Lyttle has been recruited and is now in post managing the Shine Circle mentors.
In addition to the 24 full-time mentoring posts, will recruit, train and deploy 10 volunteers per year to operate within the structure of the professional service. Importantly, this would provide an opportunity for some woman offenders to become peer mentors.
Two Shine partner agencies, with a long history of recruiting and training volunteers, have also selected new recruits. Shine Barnardos South West Scotland, recruited five peer volunteer mentors, put forward for the mentor training in April. In addition, Shine Sacro Edinburgh, working closely with the Another Way Service (another Robertson Trust funded project), have recruited eight volunteers. They have under gone the Sacro one-day volunteer training.
Both Barnardos and Sacro are working closely to put together and establish a volunteering strategy, protocols and practice standards.
Since referrals from Shine started in October 2013 Venture Trust have worked with 27 enquiries, 19 of these have developed into full referrals and 18 of these will have been offered places on three wilderness journeys scheduled in November 2013, March 2014 and May 2014.
Most of these referrals have been made in the last quarter, showing that momentum is growing as the Shine service is established across Scotland. Venture Trust anticipates a substantial increase in participation and referrals in the second year of the Shine service. In addition Venture Trust has supported an additional 42 referrals of women to the Next Steps programme from other criminal justice referrers. It is estimated that at least one third of these may be eligible for Shine mentoring and Venture Trust outreach workers continue to work to promote referral onwards to Shine where available and appropriate.
The outcomes for women who have participated in the Next Steps programme will be monitored over the coming 12 months.