Volunteer befrienders for people in prison

Bring positivity and hope to an isolated person in prison by keeping in touch through letters and visits - all expenses reimbursed.

What You'll Do: 

Our volunteers are matched with a person in prison who they write to once a fortnight.  The person in prison sends their replies to our office where we redirect them out to the volunteer.  After they have been writing for around 6 months, the volunteer begins to visit the person in prison, up to 4 times per year. 


Every volunteer is part of a Volunteer Support Group, which is Chaired by an experienced volunteer.  Each group meets once per month for around an hour, and every group member attends to discuss their correspondence and visits and have the opportunity to raise any concerns about the relationship or the prisoner's welfare in a friendly and supportive atmosphere.  Support groups are spread across the country, and volunteers can choose to join one locally that meets in person, or one that meets via zoom with volunteers from across the country.

Why You'll Love It: 

Our volunteers tell us that they enjoy:

  • Being able to make a tangible difference to isolated people in prison
  • Being part of a community of like-minded volunteers
  • Peer support from Volunteer Support Group meetings
  • The flexibility of being able to fit volunteering around their work/studies/life
  • The huge impact they can have with a relatively small time commitment
  • Attending our annual Volunteer Conference to learn more about prisons and the criminal justice system from a variety of speakers
What We're Looking For: 

All volunteers must:

  • Be committed to writing to and/or visiting people in prison on a consistent basis.
  • Act as a positive role model to people in prison by demonstrating responsible behaviours, such as reliability, respect, honesty and encouragement.
  • Respect the privacy and comfort level of people in prison, allowing them to develop the supportive relationship at their own pace.
  • Be clear in all communication with people in prison, particularly around their role, boundaries and confidentiality.
  • Regularly attend Support Group meetings and submit Expenses Forms.
  • Promptly report any issues of concern to their Support Group/New Bridge.
  • Comply with the ‘Volunteer Policies & Procedures’ and the rules and regulations of any establishment they may visit in their capacity as a New Bridge volunteer.
  • Act in a professional and responsible manner, which enhances the reputation of New Bridge.
  • In the event of closure of contact, be sensitive to people in prisons’ needs and concerns and work with New Bridge to facilitate a positive end to the relationship.
  • Notify New Bridge of any contact detail changes or any matters that may impact upon their ability to perform the volunteering role.


Volunteers should:

  • Have the ability to relate to people in prison and to separate the individual from their behaviour.
  • Be adaptable to change and able to work as a team member of New Bridge.
  • Demonstrate emotional intelligence.
  • Meet New Bridge’s minimum age requirement of 18 years
Crime and Violence
Mental Health
United Kingdom
Location of opportunity: 
52 Weeks Minimum
0 Hours / Week
Skills you will develop: 
Active listening
Written Communication
Languages you should know: 
Professional working
Over 18 years old
Phone Interview

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