FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
VOLUNTEERING WITH NEW BRIDGE
Who can become a Volunteer?
Volunteers come from all walks of life, we offer Equality of Opportunity regardless of age, race, creed, colour, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, and, so far as is relevant and possible, physical or mental disability, or past history.
You will be working with prisoners who need the stability of a volunteer who can commit to at least 18 months.
All volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
For ex-offenders, 2 years must have elapsed, without re-offending, following release from prison or expiry of supervision.
I am thinking of volunteering with New Bridge. What does befriending involve?
After initial assessment and training, you will be required to write to a prisoner and to visit them if they wish.
Prisoners frequently change prison and you must be prepared to visit wherever they may be throughout England and Wales. Travel expenses are paid.
Attending group support meetings is essential. Groups meet monthly (or every six weeks) and you will need to give feedback on the work with the prisoner(s) and be prepared to help other volunteers with advice and suggestions.
Help from group leaders and from the New Bridge office is always at hand if you are unsure about what to do.
For more information and details about becoming a mentor with New Bridge, please click on the Volunteer button above.
What is different about mentoring?
New Bridge mentors support people in the community as well as in prison.
Mentoring is often short term and time limited. It involves working with the offender on achievable goals about work, housing, health, using leisure time and other factors to help prevent re-offending.
The training is different for mentors and volunteers have to be confident about working safely in the community.
How do you become a Volunteer?
Once a prospective volunteer has completed an application form, their two references are taken up and they are invited to an interview.
All prospective volunteers must participate in a two day training course introducing them to the nature of the work they can expect to be doing and to some of the conflicts and dilemmas they can expect to face.
Please note New Bridge will conduct an Enhanced CRB check on all prospective befriending volunteers who have completed the two day training course.
New befriending volunteers must agree to join a befriending volunteer support group and have to attend group support meetings on a regular basis.
Accreditation as a New Bridge befriending volunteer commences following the successful completion of the induction training, once a volunteer has joined their local support group.