Meet our team
Mel Wheeler – Project Leader
Mel took up the post of Project Leader on 14th October 2019. She brings 16 years’ experience in supporting families and vulnerable young people affected by substance misuse in the Voluntary Sector in Norfolk and is a Director of two non-profit organisations, working in the outdoors with those facing multiple life challenges.
Paula Callam – Project Administrator
Paula joined the charity as a volunteer mentor in 2016 and assisted with administration right from the start. She was appointed as the Project Administrator on 1st January 2019. She had six and a half years of experience, both practical and administrative running, a project for the underprivileged in Antigua.
The Project Leader’s role is to meet and select clients in the relevant prisons, match them to volunteer mentors and oversee the mentoring process. The Administrator performs the basic administration tasks. Together, they recruit prospective mentors and lead the six-week initial training course. The Project Leader provides mentor support and with the Administrator, arranges bi-monthly mentor training/briefing sessions.
The heart of the CCN project is the recruitment, training and retention of Volunteer Mentors who work closely with allocated clients to offer them relevant, non-judgemental support, advocacy and signposting. This facilitates effective re-integration into wider society after a custodial sentence, with the aim of reducing re-offending rates and helping the clients achieve their life goals.
At present there are 10 active mentors. Two pairs work together as a team, some have only one client, some have several. Our mentors are from a wide age range, from all sorts of backgrounds, life and faith experiences. There are a further 6 mentors “waiting in the wings” who have recently completed their training, but with this period of Covid 19 lockdown have not yet been assigned clients.