Why volunteer?

Volunteering is a way to tangibly serve men and women in prison - meeting people who are some of the most marginalised in our society, and offering them support and hope.

Apply to Volunteer
Act locally

Find a local group near you

Our aim is to have a group in place to support every prison in England and Wales! PF volunteers connect with their local group, and together they serve the local prison.

Find a group

Your questions

If you share the vision and values of Prison Fellowship and our Christian motivation, we have opportunities for a wide range of ages, skills, availability and situations. We ask volunteers to sign a statement of faith when they apply. PF is firmly committed to diversity in all aspects of its work, and we particularly welcome applications from men and women who have been in prison.
The time commitment given by our volunteers varies considerably depending on their own availability, and the local opportunities. Different roles require different levels of involvement, for example, a Sycamore Tree Group Facilitator will give half a day each week for the six weeks the course is running, and might have some admin work in that time too, but at other times of the year may have less to do. A letter-writer might only take an hour a month to keep in touch with their pen-pal in prison, but if their pen-pal’s sentence is long, the relationship might continue for years! Read the different role descriptions on our Volunteer page, and if you have further questions about the time commitment involved, you can contact the Support Team to find out more.
For some roles there may be a particular skill or qualification required, for example our Sycamore Tutors need a teaching qualification. Training will be offered by Prison Fellowship for any role that needs it.
Volunteers will receive basic training and induction through a training manual, and through their local group. You will also receive additional training for any specific roles you choose to volunteer for. Check out our Events page for details of upcoming training!
No. We will only ask volunteers who work specifically with children (under 18s), to be DBS checked. We do carry out our own application procedures and reference checks for all volunteers. If you go into prison as part of your volunteering the prison will carry out additional checks and you will have to apply for security clearance.
To volunteer for any of our programmes you will need to fill out an application form and submit two references – your first reference should be from your church leader and your second from someone who knows you in an organisational capacity e.g. your employer or somewhere you have previously volunteered. When you have initially submitted your application form you will get a confirmation email from the PF Support Team and your information will be added to our database. They will also contact you when we receive each of your references and are happy to help with any questions you may have during the application process. Once your application form and both references have been received, they will be processed, and if you are approved you will be informed by email of your successful application. Next, you will be connected with your PF Local Group – the Group leader will be in touch to invite you to their next meeting. They will be your main point of contact for volunteering with and in your local prison. If you are interested in training for a specific programme we run, you will be invited to the next available training. Our PF groups and volunteers who work with prisoners will have to deal with confidential and sensitive information, and not everyone is suitable for this role. These procedures are in place to protect our volunteers, and we appreciate your patience and cooperation with this.

Still got questions? Make an enquiry