Heather Tolland

PhD Student


Working Title of PhD: ‘She helps me to cope’: An exploration of the experiences of women in the Sacro Women’s Mentoring Service

Year commenced PhD study: 2012  (Full time)

Funding Source: University of Stirling/Sacro Partnership Scholarship

PhD Supervisors: Prof Gill McIvor, Dr Margaret Malloch

Synopsis: This study will assess the effectiveness of mentoring in supporting women and facilitating desistance from crime. Specifically, mentoring services provided by Sacro will be evaluated with a view to affecting policy and practice in this area. Sacro is a third sector organisation that offers services to women via Through-care services and volunteer mentors who provide support to women in the community. A mixed method approach will be adopted which will include interviews with mentors, volunteer mentors and practitioners, interviews with women participating in the scheme, observation of mentoring activities and quantitative analysis of case file data.

The findings will be used to define the operation and impact of mentoring schemes, through meeting the following objectives: 1) describe the characteristics and operation of the scheme; 2) assess the extent to which mentoring meets the distinctive needs of the women; 3) assess the contribution made by volunteer mentors; 4) explore the views and experiences of women who participate in mentoring; 5) identify the outcomes of mentoring; 6) define the necessary components of mentoring required for effective practice.

Keywords: mentoring, female offending, desistance



University of Stirling

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