Prison Advice - PACT (Woking)

Family Volunteering HMP Send


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


Pact supports families of prisoners as they arrive at the visitors centre and during their visit, by providing supervised play for the children. Volunteers support this service by setting up toys and offering fun and engaging activities for children of all ages in the Visits Hall.

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.


What you will be doing

  • Offer a friendly and welcoming environment within the Visitors Centre where people visiting the prison can spend time before and after their visit
  • Engage in a diverse range of play activities for children of all ages, cultures and backgrounds in the Visits Hall
  • Give positive attention to children and actively participate in play with children of all ages
  • Promote a relaxed atmosphere in which children feel confident to express themselves through play whilst demonstrating respect and consideration for each other
  • Support the Pact staff team to prepare for and deliver Family Days, where required
  • Participate in Family Days, engaging in play activities with children and their families, where required
  • Ensure the play areas are safe and clean before, throughout and after each play session
  • Assist with completing session logs and registers for play services
  • Support with any administration tasks required for the play area as required
  • 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
  • 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. 
  • Report all Health and Safety/Safeguarding incidents and concerns to a member of the Pact staff team.  


Time commitment & location

Location: HMP Send, Ripley Road, Woking, Surrey, GU23 7LJThe role is based inside the prison gates.


Time commitment: Shifts are available Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 13:45 – 16:00.  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. 



What we are looking for



Skills / Abilities


Experience of working with children & families


Child care / play qualifications desirable but not essential



















Well-developed communication and interpersonal skills


Ability to deal calmly and sensitively with prisoners and families


Ability to respect confidentiality


Organised and able to use initiative


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


Ability to work in a team or alone


Ability to demonstrate patience with families facing the challenge of having a loved one imprisoned 




Non-judgemental attitude towards prisoners and their families


Empathy towards prisoners and their families


Honesty and reliability


Be able to treat all staff, prisoners and their families with respect, dignity and courtesy


Warm and friendly approach to working with people


In addition we require:


Regular commitment

Willingness to learn and follow Pact policies and procedures

A willingness to provide empathetic, non-judgemental support to families

A willingness to undergo prison vetting * Roles inside the Visits Hall only – required for this role

Attendance at training sessions and regular supervisions with your line manager







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)
  • Prison Vetting clearance

Please be aware that these necessary checks can take a number 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
  • 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


If you are interested in this role please click the 'fill in application' box to the right