Edinburgh, 19 May 2023 – Shine, a national mentoring service for women with recent experience of the justice system in Scotland, proudly marked its 10-year anniversary at the iconic Edinburgh City Chambers today. At the heart of the celebration was the release of Shine’s highly anticipated impact assessment report, conducted by the independent social research organisation The Lines Between. This comprehensive report, based on extensive input from nearly 100 stakeholders, showcases the significant outcomes and positive changes resulting from Shine’s mentoring programme. It provides compelling evidence of the success of Shine’s national partnership approach and the wide-ranging support it offers, demonstrating the tangible impacts it has achieved for the women supported by the service.
Since its establishment in 2013, Shine has been dedicated to supporting women across Scotland in making real and positive changes to their lives following involvement with the justice system. With its commitment to person-centred, trauma-informed support, Shine has made a profound difference in the lives of countless women, helping them build brighter futures.
The Shine 10-Year Anniversary Celebration brought together key stakeholders, including women supported by the service and partners who have played instrumental roles in the successful operation of this Public Social Partnership (PSP). The event served as a platform to highlight Shine’s achievements and its transformative impact on the lives of women within the justice system.
Amber, one of Shine’s mentees, has longstanding issues with mental health and lives in a homeless hostel after discovering just two weeks before being released from prison that she was being evicted from her tenancy. Reflecting on her experience, Amber expressed her gratitude for Shine’s support, saying, “It was good to have the extra help – to help me deal with the things I’m gonna have to face. I’m just trying to come back out and go back into the community… Everything that happened when I got out – there was just so much, so overwhelming. If I hadn’t had Shine, I wouldn’t have been able to do it at all”.
Ms. Angela Constance MSP, the newly appointed Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Home Affairs, delivered a keynote speech at the event. She congratulated Shine partners on their remarkable 10-year journey and reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to making improvements in the justice system that will empower and benefit women. Ms. Constance said, “I would like to thank the mentors and other staff for their hard work and dedication over the past 10 years. They have been instrumental in enabling women in the justice system to believe in themselves – sometimes for the first time – and provided support with the issues they may face in the community.
“Key to the programme’s success has also been the partnerships created with Scottish Prison Service, local social work services, and other third sector organisations, which have enabled women to reintegrate themselves into their local communities, access the services they need and build their resilience and self-determination.”
“We are thrilled to celebrate a decade of Shine’s unwavering commitment to supporting women in the justice system and helping them rebuild their lives,” said Annie Mauger-Thompson, Chief Executive at Sacro, the lead partner of Shine. “This anniversary celebration is a testament to the incredible work of our mentors, partners, and supporters who have made a lasting impact on the lives of so many women. With the launch of our impact assessment, we are excited to showcase the tangible results of our efforts and inspire further progress in the years to come.”