Family Volunteering HMP Downview Visitors Centre Volunteer
About this service
Pact Family Services provide support to families who have a loved one in prison. Our staff and volunteers meet and greet families as they arrive for a visit with practical and emotional support like refreshments, visitor information and play services for children. We operate in prison Visitors Centres (typically outside the prison gates) and inside the Visits Hall (inside the prison gates) across the UK.
Purpose of this role
Facilitate prison visits by offering a friendly and welcoming environment within the Visitors Centre where people visiting loved ones in prison can spend time before and after their visit.
What you will be doing
- Meet and greet visitors on arrival to the prison Visitors Centre
- Promote a relaxed atmosphere in which children and families feel confident, having mutual respect and consideration for each other
- Assist with the visitor booking in system where required (IT skills required)
- Work with the Pact staff team to identify and support first time visitors, offering information and advice as appropriate
- Provide emotional and practical support to families, seeking support from the Pact staff team as appropriate
- Assist the Pact staff team to keep notice boards and information relevant to prisoners and their families presentable and up to date
- Provide information and signposting to families where appropriate
- Help set up toys and activities in the visitors centre for children waiting to visit a loved one
- May serve light refreshments (hot/cold drinks and snacks) to families waiting for a visit
- Assist in the administration of the centre
- Adhere to policies and practices relevant to this role: Confidentiality; Health & Safety; Child Protection and Safeguarding; Equality and Diversity; and Prison security rules etc.
- Report all incidents and concerns related to Health and Safety or Safeguarding to a member of the Pact staff team.
Time commitment & location
Location: HMP Downview, Sutton Lane, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5PD. The visitors centre is in close proximity to the prison.
Time commitment: Shifts are available 12:30-16:30 Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. You can volunteer for as many shift as you are able.
Because of the training and induction requirements, and value of this role Pact hopes you will commit to volunteering with us for at least 6 months.
Type of person we are looking for
Skills / Abilities
Experience of working with members of the public / customer service experience
Experience of working in a team
Well-developed communication and interpersonal skills
Ability to deal calmly and sensitively with prisoners and families, demonstrating patience and respect
Ability to respect confidentiality
Organised and able to use initiative
Ability to work alone or in a team
Customer service skills
IT skills *Where required, training provided
Non-judgmental, empathetic attitude towards prisoners and their families
Honesty and reliability
Warm and friendly approach to working with people
Be able to treat all staff, prisoners and their families with respect, dignity and courtesy
What we offer
Training for this role is likely to include Safeguarding, Professional Boundaries and Equality & Diversity.
Travel costs, via public transport or private car (mileage) will be reimbursed including travel to attend training. Subsistence, i.e. lunch may also be reimbursed, according to our expenses policy.
This role is subject to:
- 2 references
- DBS check (Disclosure & Barring Service)
- Could be subject to Prison Vetting clearance
Please be aware that these necessary checks can take a number of weeks to process.
Support and Supervision
We will provide a full induction and regular supervision to support you in the role.
Benefits to you
- Developing experience and knowledge of the prison environment
- Developing listening skills
- Opportunity to develop relationship building skills
- Subject to satisfactory volunteering with Pact, we will be happy to provide references in support of applications for employment
If you are interested in this role please click the ‘fill in application’ box to the right