Sova Support Link

At Sova Support Link we support a range of adults with complex needs and a history of offending behaviour in London.

At Sova Support Link (SSL) we hope to improve people’s quality of life and enable them to live successfully as part of their local community.  We do this by promoting desistance and social inclusion through recruiting, training and supervising local volunteer mentors, who work together in groups (known as ‘hubs’), to support a client, both practically and emotionally.  By helping clients to steer clear of crime, our volunteers not only support an individual to change their own life for the better, but also help to build safer, stronger communities for everyone.
 
Each volunteer is asked to commit to meeting the client they’re matched with for no more than 5 hours per week for at least 12 months.  Sova offer all our volunteers enjoyable and interactive training (which can be accredited through Certa), ongoing support, training and supervision.  One of our volunteers said “The most valuable aspect of my volunteer work has been the training”.  As well as working with a team of fellow mentors, volunteers also work closely with other professionals involved in the client’s life.
 
Sova Support Link covers the whole of London. We are gratefully funded by NOMS and Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, as part of LPP (London Pathways Partnership).  One of our probation partners recently said “Sova are an inspiration as are those of you who work for them!”
 
 
Across London we support a range of socially excluded people, as shown below:
 

Lifelong psychological needs

People with lifelong psychological needs and a history of offending behaviour, working closely with NHS trusts for psychological input and probation.  In 2013, we were highly commended in the Criminal Justice and Mental Health sector at the Positive Practice Awards.

“For people who have not enjoyed the benefits of family relationships, these are people he can turn to”.
 
If you’re interested in supporting people who have  lifelong psychological needs or want to find out more about this project please contact us: supportlink@sova.org.uk or use one of the 'Become a Sova volunteer' links at the bottom of this page. 
 

Autistic Spectrum Disorder 

Adults with high-functioning autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and a history of offending behaviour, working closely with probation and NHS trusts for psychological and risk input.  There are currently limited services for people who have offended and have ASD, be a part of a ground breaking and innovative project looking to include those who often get overlooked.

If you’re interested in supporting people with Autism or Aspergers or want to find out more about this project please contact us on: supportlinkasd@sova.org.uk

Someone Sova supported said: “I enjoyed getting out and meeting my volunteers, it helped me to gain the confidence to get a voluntary job”
 
One of our volunteers said “Before I was introduced to Paul* I questioned, what would I see? But when I met this person they were just another human being, and quickly my anxieties went, and I was able to challenge those prejudices”
*name changed
 
For more information about what it takes to be one of our volunteers please contact us at supportlink@sova.org.uk or use one of the 'Become a Sova volunteer' links at the bottom of this page.
 

Audio Clips

Project Manager talking about the project:  

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Volunteer on experiences working with project:
 
Client speaking of the support he receives:  
 
 

 

 

Extra information on Sova Support Link:

 This project holds Mentoring and Befriending Foundation Approved Provider Status.

 

Become a Sova volunteer

Job title:  Volunteer Mentors - Support Link - London
Time commitment: 4-8 hours per week
MBF
“Sova Support Link is a finalist for 'Breakthrough of the Year”
“I enjoyed getting out and meeting my volunteers, it helped me to gain the confidence to get a voluntary job”
One of the letters from David Cameron
“A number of Sova Support Link’s volunteers were praised by David Cameron (PM) for the difference they are making in their communities through the ‘Points of Light’ scheme”