Being in touch with a New Bridge volunteer has given me a new lease of life.  From being so down and depressed to gaining confidence from my volunteer making me smile is the biggest achievement.  I’ve been helped to push forward with ideas I’ve had like writing a children’s book.  I would like to work as a volunteer as I fully realise now just what you can gain from interaction with another human being when locked up in prison.

Many people in prison do not receive letters or visits.  Most of us need someone to talk to - someone we can trust, who doesn’t put labels on us, who talks straight, stays in touch and doesn’t make promises they can’t keep.  As a New Bridge Befriender, you’ll provide that support to people while they’re in prison, by establishing and maintaining contact with them through letter writing and visiting.

A New Bridge befriender wants to talk and stay in touch – it’s not a chore.  That means a lot because they choose you despite your conviction.  It’s surprised me what a letter every 2 to 3 weeks means to me.

Although many organisations maintain contact between people in prison and the wider community, you can expect New Bridge Befriending to be different for three main reasons:

  • New Bridge is not a pen pal scheme - our befrienders both write and visit

  • New Bridge befrienders are attached to the individual not the prison and therefore continue to provide support through moves to different prisons

  • New Bridge befrienders are carefully selected and trained before starting to befriend anyone and our monthly support group meetings provide all befrienders with supervision and peer support

What I have learned so far from being a New Bridge befriender, is that it is not only the one in custody who travels on that journey, but equally so the befriender. We must be prepared to learn and to adapt, and it is a process that only ends when the volunteer steps down.

Apply now