A Day in the Life of a Shine Mentor - May

I arrive to work at 8.30. While having a cup of tea, I complete my paperwork from the day before including case notes, time sheet, travel expenses etc. I spend around an hour doing this, as most of the women I support prefer appointments later morning/afternoon. I also spend time speaking with my colleagues: we like helping each other with ideas on how best to handle situations and sharing information where to go for help from other agencies. 

Last week I received a referral for Katie*. She has been in prison on remand, but is in court today. Due to the tight turnaround I’ve not been able to see her in prison, so I arranged to meet her at court. I phoned the court to see if I could come over to the cells to meet her. I’m informed that she hasn’t arrived yet, but was asked to phone back again in about 45 minutes. When I phone back I’m told she has now arrived, but is expected to be up in court very soon. I head over to the court, however when I arrive her case has just been heard. At the cells her lawyer and court social worker are also present; I briefly speak with them and I’m told she is being released with a Community Payback Order. I meet with Katie, and offer to stay around the court until she is released. However Katie said she does not need any support today. Katie and I organise a time to meet tomorrow.

 After leaving the court, as I now have more time available than I previously thought, I phone Laura who has recently left prison to see how she is. Laura left prison with no clothes in her size. I know of a charity that offers free clothes to people, so I arrange to pick her up and to take her there. Laura was very happy to get some clothes that fit her. 

I don’t have any plans for the afternoon, so I head back to the office and grab some lunch. There I start responding to emails and calls then begin completing my case notes for Katie and Laura. I also manage to get a hold of a Social Worker who recently worked with one of the women I’ve received a referral for, so I speak with her to get help with a risk assessment. 

While in the office one of the women I’ve been working with, June, phones to tell me she has been offered a temporary house. This is fantastic. She has had housing problems for some time. June tells me she’s to be at the housing office this afternoon and she’s to go to see the property. June asks if I’m able to support her. Arrangements are made to meet June outside the housing office. I meet with June, and at housing she signs some forms, and is given the key to the accommodation. We go look at the house, and make phone calls to energy suppliers. I then take June back to where she has been staying. 

June’s appointment takes a while, so I don’t finish work until nearly 7pm. Today has been a longer day than I normally do, but it means I can have a shorter day another time. Now it’s time to go home, relax, and get organised to start it all again tomorrow. Today is a key example that plans can change very easily throughout the day, and you never know what you will be doing. 

*All names changed. 

8th May 2018