Emma McMahon spent two years volunteering with CLI before taking on a full-time position with CRC- Community Rehabilitation Company – based at Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester.

The 22-year-old credits her experience with CLI as one of the main reasons she got a job that she loves. Well done Emma – glad we could be a support to you – like you were to service users at CLI.

Here she talks about her time at CLI and her passion for this area of work.

Emma said: “I did my degree at Manchester Metropolitan University in psychology, and then from there, went on to do my Masters in forensic psychology.

“I was looking for a volunteer placement and found CLI through website searches. It really stood out to me because I loved the idea of working one-to-one with people. I absolutely loved being a mentor, working with prolific offenders, I never stop talking to people about my time at CLI and I can’t wait for the opportunity in my job to start referring people to CLI – that will be so good.

“During my time as a mentor, I discovered that it can be hard for people to open-up at first, but once they realise that you are on the same level, it gets easier, and it is great to see someone start to turn their life around.

“One person stands out for me, when we first met, he was very anxious, and had complex needs, but I saw him change, actively looking for a job, starting to see his family again and having stable accommodation.  He did all the hard work – I was just there alongside him – helping with everyday stuff some of us take for granted like sorting out a bank account or going to the job centre – as well as just being there for a chat in a coffee shop when needed.

“Volunteering with CLI helped with getting employed, my time with CLI was worth more than my university degree in terms of experience. When I had my interview, I related everything back to CLI situations. It was a fantastic place to volunteer and I would highly recommend anyone who wants to work in the field of probation, rehabilitation, drug and alcohol services and much more to join the fantastic team.”

Apply to be a volunteer here.