A Wise Group service designed to holistically support people get closer to work was today championed by Mayor Jamie Driscoll.
The Wise Group, a social enterprise that works to break down barriers through relational mentoring, today hosted an event in Newcastle where Jamie Driscoll, the Mayor of the North of Tyne, spoke about how this innovative, local, and sustainable new service will deliver professional, holistic and evidenced support to people in Newcastle and North Tyneside. Through Social Return on Investment calculations, it has been projected that this £1.6 million service will add over £10 million to local communities and transform hundreds of lives. The service is built on the one-to-one relationship between a professional mentor and a mentee and can last for several months. By working with people across a holistic set of 15 needs, ranging from housing, wellbeing, health and heating, multiple barriers can be tackled at once to give people the foundations needed for work. This service is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund with the North of Tyne Combined Authority as the lead authority.
On the new service, Mayor Driscoll said,
“Relational Mentoring is about seeing the whole person as a human being, not just a cog in the machine. Providing a complete service, not just a single programme.
“That’s how we get people into work – not with slogans or gimmicks – but with the one-to-one support that builds someone up rather than a tick-box exercise that serves to knock them down.
“That’s why we’re expanding our investment and funding the Wise Group to lead on this important work – helping people gain the confidence and skills to get the job they deserve.”
Sean Duffy, CEO of the Wise Group, said,
“This new service will be transformational with investment empowering hundreds of households, building a bridge to a brighter more sustainable future. Over £10 million in social value will positively impact Newcastle and North Tyneside, bringing sustainable and meaningful jobs, shorter GP waitlists, warmer homes, and brighter prospects for families and communities . Together, we will pave the way to a fairer, kinder, more prosperous society. Amidst the cost-of-living challenge, Relational Mentoring will ignite community strength through proven one-on-one connections that spark lasting and evidenced change, lasting decades, not just days.”
The service was developed with evidence gathered in the North East this winter, as communities grappled with the cost-of-living crisis. In the resulting report, Lifting People out of Fuel Poverty in the United Kingdom, it was found that half of in-work families eligible for fuel vouchers were visiting foodbanks and hat 4 in 5 single parents said their mental health had been impacted by the cost-of-living crisis. Families with children were the only group to ration energy more than food, with people finding it difficult to make ends meet and access support.
Relational Mentoring helps people identify and overcome multiple barriers and find long-term support through the relationship built with a professional mentor. Addressing multiple challenges at once has been found to compound the positive social, cultural, and financial impact of mentoring, and make a positive difference over decades, not days.
If you would like to find out more about the service, you can reach out to the Wise Group’s team.
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