Pact in the South East

Volunteer Champion HMP Downview and HMP High Down

Family Services - Volunteer Champion Role Description


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 (outside the prison gates) and inside the Visits Hall (inside the prison gates) across the UK.



Purpose of this role


As the Volunteer Champion you will lead on the recruitment of new volunteers, as well as supporting the Family Engagement Manager (FEM) with training and retaining volunteers at HMP Downview and HMP High Down.


You will also work closely with the Family Engagement Manager for each prison communicating with other volunteers to assist with sorting availability, arranging rotas, and leading group supervision sessions with volunteers.


Time commitment & location

The ideal candidate will be able to commit to a minimum of 2 days a week. The role will be based between HMP Downview and HMP High Down, Sutton Lane, Sutton, SM2 5PD.

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. 


What you will be doing


  1.   Recruit volunteers across a wide geographical area, using a variety of innovative and creative methods including (but not limited to) advertising in volunteer centres, online promotion, presentations        to community groups, churches and universities, as well as printed materials as required.
  2. Conduct Disclosure and Barring Service Checks on new volunteers and ensure existing volunteers update theirs as relevant.
  3. Ensure that volunteers are encouraged to participate in their roles through activities such as group supervisions, one to one support, and developmental events.
  4.  Assist the Family Engagement Manager with obtaining volunteer availability and arranging rotas.
  5. Attend training as identified through reviews with your line manager, both internally and externally.
  6. Adhere to policies and practises relevant to this role: Confidentiality; Health & Safety; Child Protection and Safeguarding; Equality and Diversity; and Prison security rules etc.
  7. Report all incidents and concerns related to Health and Safety or Safeguarding to a member of the Pact staff team. 
  8. Support the team in any other areas with the delivery of service if required, e.g., support with family visits or play area.


The 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 respect confidentiality


Organised and able to use initiative


Ability to work alone or in a team


Good administration skills


Listening skills  


Good IT skills 

Non-judgemental, 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 recruiting and managing volunteers, safeguarding, Professional Boundaries and Equality & Diversity as well as numerous e-learning training modules available to you.




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 will be subject to:

  • References
  • DBS check (Disclosure & Barring Service)
  • Potential 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 volunteer management
  • Experience 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


Next steps


For more information about Pact and to apply for this role please visit or contact