Recently Rhona Innes - Partnership Manager for Shine - was asked: If there was one thing you'd want to shout from the rooftop about Shine, what would it be? Here’s how she replied:

"The mentors. I think just how wonderful the mentors are. It really is such a privilege to be part of the Shine team. I mean the commitment and dedication is just second to none. And how passionate the mentors are, they do just such a fantastic job and it’s not an easy job at all.

"They’re supporting women that are really vulnerable and some of them have just horrific backgrounds of trauma, and mentors are listening to that day in day out, supporting them and then going home to their own families. I think particularly during lockdown, supporting women who were at crisis point, at breaking point and issues that they were dealing with from their own homes, whilst dealing with their own personal thoughts and feelings and worries about the pandemic and dealing with their own family life, they kept going. And they never faltered in terms of the level of care or support that they provided. Just I think that … you can’t praise them enough.

"They’re just such a wonderful group of people and I'm just so overwhelmed sometimes to hear about the work that they are doing and how they are supporting people. It’s truly very humbling to see their passion and their commitment to the role. I can’t talk about them enough and praise them enough. They’re a great bunch of people."

A Mentor’s Voice: The forever changing diary

“Monday morning and you think you have your day/week planned out and all off a sudden one of your mentee's calls upset, anxious and no idea what to do. You move your diary about to make sure you have time to meet up and go through the problem, reassuring them that we can sort this. That one phone call can take up your whole day but by the end, your mentee is grateful for your time, patience and understanding. That's just one part of being a mentor. That rewarding feeling after a tough day, walking away knowing you have empowered another woman and guided them on the right path.

"Working daily with addiction issues, mental health, domestic abuse, bereavement, and offending behaviour can be a lot of information to digest but as a mentor you use Sacro colleagues/management for advice, support, and guidance.

"Over the years Shine has grown and progressed into a service that can help and support woman with a wide range of issues. Working with local authorities has built confidence and a real understanding of what support woman need within the community or whilst they are in prison.

"Working in partnership with public sectors has brought a wide range of knowledge which has helped develop the service over the years. It has been an absolute pleasure to be part of the Shine journey and one that I hope continues for many years."