Becoming a New Bridge volunteer means joining a vibrant community of like-minded people. You will be supported throughout your journey with us, both by other volunteers and by staff – through monthly group meetings, newsletters, an online portal and of course a call to the office if you need to discuss anything.
Volunteering with us is a great way to learn more about the criminal justice system and develop your communication skills. You will hear what life is like inside our prisons directly from people currently serving sentences.
We run a number of support groups for volunteers which take place at locations across the country and in virtual settings. The aim of these groups is to allow volunteers to discuss their correspondence and visits and raise any concerns they have about either the relationship or the prisoner’s welfare in a friendly and supportive atmosphere. The group meetings take place once a month and are led by one of a network of experienced group chairs.
Our volunteers are safeguarded through our volunteer management processes. Volunteers and service users do not exchange any personal information: volunteers write under a pseudonym, and prisoners send their letters to the New Bridge office where they are redirected to the recipient’s home address.
Our volunteering offer is highly flexible and designed to fit around your life. You will write letters and organise visits at times that suit you, and you can choose whether you join a support group that meets in person or via zoom.
We do ask volunteers to consider their ability to commit to this role before applying. Many people in prison will have faced disappointments or been let down by others in their past. The stability of the connection with a volunteer is what makes such a meaningful difference - so if you are only able to commit for a period of a year then this may not be the right opportunity for you.