Our befrienders commit to befriending people in prison for at least three years and to befriend at least two people at one time, exchanging a letter with each person every two weeks and visiting approximately once every 3 to 4 months (after about 6 months getting to know each other).

All befrienders join a New Bridge Support Group (19 support groups in England and Wales meet up to 10 times a year).  The support group meetings provide a forum for discussion about all aspects of befriending and offer peer guidance and support.  All New Bridge befrienders are accredited annually and continued accreditation is dependent on regular attendance at support group meetings.

New Bridge befriending support is sometimes more attractive to those who are vulnerable and isolated or who have limited or no contact with people in the outside world.  These may be people who are sentenced for the most serious offences or who are serving lengthy, life or indeterminate sentences. 

All letters with befriendees are exchanged via the New Bridge address and befrienders never give anybody money or gifts, do not divulge addresses, phone numbers or personal details and never accede to any requests to contact friends or family.

People who want to be befrienders must be at least 18 years old and apply by completing our application form and providing two references.  Then we invite people for an interview.  If successful at this stage, applicants attend a two-day training course followed by two support group meetings before starting to befriend someone. 

We welcome applications from people with criminal records who are at least two years clear from Probation supervision or release from prison.

It can take a few months to become a befriender but it’s important to take the time to work out if this is the right sort of volunteering. 

Apply now