Volunteering faqs

Thinking of volunteering as a correspondent? Please read our FAQs below before getting in touch.

What do volunteer correspondents do?
Volunteer correspondents write to and receive letters from their prisoner penfriends, establishing a friendship through the post.
What sort of time commitment is involved in volunteering?
We take on volunteers who will be able to write letters to their prisoner penfriends consistently, for many years. This is a long-term commitment. Most volunteers write and receive at least three letters a month.
Will I ever be able to visit or meet my prisoner penfriend?
No. Our volunteers do not meet their prisoner penfriends. If you would prefer to visit or meet prisoners, you may wish to contact the National Association of Official Prison Visitors: https://www.naopv.com/
Can you put me in touch with someone of a specific gender, religious belief or sexual orientation?
No, we cannot facilitate this.
Can you put me in touch with a specific person in prison?
We are unable to facilitate this.
Can you put me in touch with someone who lives in my geographical area?
No, we cannot facilitate this.
I am a student. Can I volunteer?
Please note that Her Majesty’s Prison Service will not allow anyone under 21 to take part in our scheme, so you must be 21 or over to volunteer with us.
I would like to volunteer as a correspondent. What should I do?
Please read these FAQs and then fill in your details on the form on our website. We will get in touch with you when we are next recruiting new volunteers.
What does the recruitment process involve?
We recruit volunteers in cohorts, to meet increased demand. When we are recruiting, we will contact you to ask for a CV and the contact details of two referees. Once this stage has been completed, we will be in touch about other vetting processes. All volunteers must attend a training session before we match them with a prisoner penfriend.
How long does the volunteer recruitment process take?
The recruitment process can take some months. As a small charity, it takes us time to process the many enquiries we receive from members of the public each month. We will get in touch with you when we are recruiting. Please be patient with us.
I would prefer to volunteer to help out in the office. What should I do?
If you have at least one year’s administrative experience and strong IT skills, and you would like to volunteer for one to two days a week in our office for a minimum period of a year, please email us a CV, a short covering letter and the contact details of two referees via our website. We will get in touch with you when we are next recruiting an office volunteer.
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