Pact in London

Therapeutic Play Volunteer (Based at HMP Brixton)

Therapeutic Play Volunteer

Role Description


About this service

Our new pilot family service, Route2Change , delivers an end to end integrated rehabilitation and resettlement support programme to prisoners and their children and families from first night in custody to six months following release from prison.  The service will be delivered from HMP Brixton, both in custody and in the community with the prisoner and their family through intensive personal support and befriending, visit services, groupwork, and targeted children’s services.


Purpose of this role


This role will specifically focus on the provision of therapeutic play and child advocacy guidance and support services.  Working alongside the Therapeutic Play and Children’s Advocacy Specialist, you will ensure that children can access fun and engaging activities. 


In addition there may be opportunity to get involved in special events such as Family Days organised by Pact and the prison, that offers families more quality time together.


Time commitment & location

Location: HMP Brixton, Jebb Avenue, London SW2 5XF


Time commitment: Shifts are available on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday.  We expect that you are able to commit to at least 1 day per week


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. Offer a friendly and welcoming environment within the Visits Hall / Visitor Centre where people visiting the prison can spend time before and after their visit
  2. Engage in a diverse range of play activities for children of all ages, cultures and backgrounds in the Visits Hall
  3. Give positive attention to children and actively participate in play with children of all ages
  4. Promote a relaxed atmosphere in which children feel confident to express themselves through play whilst demonstrating respect and consideration for each other
  5. Support the Pact staff team to prepare for and deliver Family Days, where required
  6. Provide support in receiving referrals from a range of different sources
  7. Participate in Family Days, engaging in play activities with children and their families, where required
  8. Ensure the play areas are safe and clean before, throughout and after each play session
  9. Assist with completing session logs and registers for play services
  10. Support with any administration tasks required for the play area as required
  11. Support the Pact staff team to develop an area in the Visits Hall  for children with displays and materials to engage children of all ages
  12. Adhere to policies and practise guidelines relevant to this role; Confidentiality; Health & Safety; Child Protection and Safeguarding; Equal Opportunities and Diversity; Prison security rules etc. 
  13. Report all Health and Safety/Safeguarding incidents and concerns to a member of the Pact staff team  

The type of person we are looking for:



Skills / Abilities


Experience of working with children & families


Child care / play qualifications (CACHE) (these are desirable and not essential)












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


Creative and able to engage children of all ages in play activities

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 will consist of 2 day face to face training.  The 1st day will be role specific training and the 2nd will involve safeguarding and professional boundaries modules.  You will also be expected to complete numerous e-learning training modules which will be 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 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 support sessions to aid you in your chosen role.


Benefits to you 

  • Developing experience and knowledge of the prison environment / criminal justice system
  • Opportunity to develop experience and competence of engaging in play activities  with children
  • Subject to satisfactory volunteering with Pact, we will be happy to provide references in support of applications for employment