Loneliness damages our bodies and minds but keeping in touch with others improves our mental health and wellbeing.

New Bridge befriending provides support whilst individuals serve their sentence by establishing and maintaining contact through regular letter writing and visiting.

Until I had a befriender (someone to talk to without judgement) my mental health was getting worse.  I have PTSD and little to no family outside to speak to and was reliant on medication until I had a befriender to speak to.  Since then, I have been able to reduce my medication as I can talk to someone about my issues and get another point of view about them.  Someone to talk to about stuff in the outside world which reduces isolation

Many people in prison experience loneliness and isolation – they may have lost all contact with family and friends or they may have been very lonely prior to being sentenced.  Loneliness is said to contribute to shortened life expectancy, can be more dangerous than being a heavy smoker and can cause as much damage as obesity.

The support provided by a New Bridge Befriender is often the only contact with the world outside the gates that some people have – it truly is a lifeline for some.

Had really good communication with M** this month – he has really started opening up, writing really good interesting letters. The visit went really well, there were no awkward silences and really good conversation