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Helpline Volunteer

Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT)

The Prisoners’ Families Helpline provides support to loved ones of those affected by the Criminal Justice System across England and Wales.

Main tasks and responsibilities

  •  To provide advice and information to family members, friends, prisoners and professionals by responding to incoming telephone calls.
  • You will respond to queries by providing direct information, signposting to other relevant organisations and making referrals to Pact colleagues as well as other family support services such as Barnardos, Spurgeons and Nepacs.

 Below are a few examples of calls received on the helpline:

Trying to find out which prison someone has been sent to.

Concerns regarding the wellbeing of a prisoner.

How to keep in contact with someone in prison.

How to send money to someone in prison.

What to do after someone has been arrested.

What support is available to someone after release from prison.

  • Answering daily telephone calls, providing information and guidance
  • Escalating any urgent/imminent safeguarding calls with the prison
  • Making referrals and signposting to Pact colleagues and other external organisations
  • Updating an Excel spreadsheet logging all calls taken 
  • Communicating with other colleagues on shift as well as Shift Supervisors.

Benefits to volunteer

  • Make a huge difference to prisoners and families
  • Gain valuable experience and a strong awareness of the Criminal Justice System
  • Gain practical skills and experience
  • Develop skills and enhance your CV for future employment / volunteering opportunities
  • Join a great team of supportive, respectful and caring individuals
  • Basic reference after six months regular volunteering

What skills do I need?

Skills, attributes, experience and qualifications

  • Listening skills
  • Empathy
  • Determination
  • Teamwork
  • Verbal & written communication skills
  • Good I.T. literacy
  • Non-judgemental
  • Can-do attitude
  • Flexible
  • Genuine desire to help people
  • Own computer
  • Mobile phone
  • Internet access.
  • Need to be 18+ years.

When do I need to be available?

Morning Afternoon Evening

Volunteering happens either 9-1, 1-5 or 5-8 on weekdays. 10-3 on weekends. Volunteers are asked to give four hours regularly each week for a minimum commitment of six months.

Register your interest

We limit the number of roles you can initially express an interest in to 3 opportunities. Please only register an interest in 3 roles maximum.

  • Ideal for people interested in
  • Families and Parenting
  • Ideal for people who like
  • Befriending
  • Information, Advice and Guidance
  • Application Process
  • Application Form
  • Informal Discussion
  • References
  • Support provided
  • Induction provided
  • Training provided
    You will be required to undertake our Safeguarding and Professional Boundaries training online, as well as attending our role-specific Helpline training via Zoom. You will also have access to various other training modules on our new eLearning platform.
  • Organisation Policies
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Conflict Resolution policy/procedure for volunteers
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Volunteer Policy
  • Other Information
  • Are there any age limits?
  • DBS checks - additional information
  • Expenses - additional information
  • Recruitment Process - additional information
    Online application form, Informal interview, two references one professional and one personal to cover a two years
  • Role is exempt from Ex offenders Act 1972
  • Support Provided - additional information
    Regular supervision - We can provide volunteering buddy, but volunteers will need to have basic IT skills and be good with technology due to the nature of the role
  • Thanks / Recognition for Volunteer contribution
  • Volunteers covered by insurance

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