Pact in the South East

Family Volunteerting HMP Downview Catering 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 (outside the prison gates) and inside the Visits Hall (inside the prison gates) across the UK.


Purpose of this role


To support families as they visit their loved ones by providing opportunities for prisoners and their families to purchase high quality refreshments enabling families to eat together.


What you will be doing

  • Provide an excellent, friendly and welcoming refreshment service to prisoners and their families in the Visitors Centre and/or Visit Hall
  • Prepare food in the Visitors Centre, and/or Visit Hall
  • Sell hot and cold drinks, snacks, and/or food in the Visitors Centre and/or Visit Hall using an electronic cash register
  • Where required, have responsibility for cash handling, reconciling of tills and counter signing of cash register financial records 
  • Maintain the cleanliness of the catering areas, prior to, during and after service
  • Comply with Health & Safety & Food Hygiene Regulations and attend training as required
  • Observe standards of personal hygiene and dress as directed by Pact guidelines, using protective clothing as required
  • Support the Pact staff team to undertake regular stock takes, completing accurate records
  • Assist the Pact staff team to check-in, handle and store stock
  • Report all incidents and concerns related to Health & Safety, Food Standards, catering area maintenance, and Child/Adult Safeguarding to a member of the Pact staff tea
  • Adhere to policies and practises relevant to this role: Health & Safety; Child Protection and Safeguarding; Equality and Diversity; Prison Security rules etc.

Time commitment & location

Location: HMP Downview, Sutton Lane, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5PD. This role is based inside the prison gates.


Time commitment: Shifts are available 14:00-16:00 Thursday, Saturday & 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


Experience of working in a catering environment*



*Desirable, training to be given if no direct experience












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


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 Food Safety, Cash Handling, Manual Handling, 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)
  • 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 customer service skills  
  • Food handling skills
  • Experience of using a cash register, and financial procedures experience 
  • 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