If you’ve got a few hours a week to serve refreshments and snacks to visitors to the prison this may be for you.  FOPP runs a small snack bar, and a friendly face and cup of tea can make a real difference to someone’s visit to see a family member. Visitors often just need a bit of information about how things work along with something to keep them going after what may have been a long journey.

Hours are Monday -Thursday  12.30pm until 5.30pm and Weekends 1.00-4.00pm. A closeup view of the Tea Bar.

Some volunteers choose to take on this role while waiting for their security clearance to come through. Volunteers are also welcome to do an occasional shift here, in addition to a regular role within the prison.

The facility is highly valued by visitors who may be feeling apprehensive about their forthcoming visit, especially if this is their first time here.  We may be their first port of call, and this is an opportunity for us to relieve some of their anxiety and set them up for a good visit.  Visits are essential for keeping close family ties with people in prison, and if these ties can be maintained, there is a significantly reduced risk of them re-offending after release.

Many opportunities exist to volunteer within the secure parts of the prison.  You will need to be 18 or over and have full Ministry of Justice security clearance before you can help inside the prison.  (You can find more information about the security clearance procedure on our Signing Up page).  We will guide you through the clearance application process.  With such clearance, the following opportunities may be available:

There’s a variety of opportunities within the Education Department to act as a learning support assistant.  Again this is a very important part of supporting prisoners and enabling them to learn new skills or improve existing ones. These skills can also help with future  job opportunities.  We need volunteers to assist tutors in delivering classes. There are classes in Literacy, Numeracy,  IT,  ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages), Art, Customer Services and Personal Social Development.  Have a look at the Experiences page for first hand accounts from current volunteers.

Session times are Monday to Thursday morning and afternoon, plus Friday morning. Depending on the course, there are morning sessions from 8.00 – 11.45 and afternoon sessions from 1.00 to 4.45.

Are you a bookworm? Do you love reading and want to share that with others?

Based in the library, this role would involve helping the librarian by encouraging people in prison to become engaged with books through a variety of methods, such as displays about particular authors. You would also be working alongside prisoners, undertaking normal library tasks such as restocking bookshelves, repairing and covering books.

All library sessions are the same as the sessions for Education

Based in the library of the prison, this scheme allows Mums and Dads the opportunity to record stories to their children onto CD, which are then given to the families (as seen on Secret Millionaire)

Could you spare a few hours a week to help with the editing of these CD’s? Full training will be given.

Are you interested in helping others keep fit?

The gym within the prison would love to welcome volunteers with fitness qualifications to help them run a range of activities from circuit training and exercise classes to hip hop and street dance. 

Are you a qualified holistic therapist with some time to spare?

If so the Beauty Salon within the Prison would love to welcome you as a volunteer to support the delivery of treatments in the mornings and perhaps teach your skill in the afternoons.

The salon is particularly interested in being able to offer Pilates, Yoga, meditation and relaxation classes.

Are you a qualified beauty therapist with some time to spare?

If so the Beauty Salon within the Prison would love to welcome you as a volunteer to carry out treatments in the mornings and perhaps teach your skill in the afternoons.

Are you a qualified hairdresser with some time to spare?

If so the Hair Salon within the Prison would love to welcome you as a volunteer to carry out treatments in the mornings and perhaps teach your skill in the afternoons.

The salon caters for European & Afro Caribbean hair types and offers a range of treatments from cutting and colouring to braiding and relaxing. They are also interested in volunteers with barbering skills.

Do you have a keen interest in gardening?

In this role you will work alongside prisoners and officers in the prison gardens helping to maintain the gardens and to work in the greenhouses where flowers and produce are grown for the prison and for sale. 

Work in the gardens includes digging, weeding, planting, sowing seeds, tending to produce, making up hanging baskets and boxes of fruit and veg.

Sessions are the same as for Education

Do you know the song “The Wheels On The Bus” or ” Itsy Bitsy Spider?”

Then perhaps you could encourage our Mum and Tots group to join in.  Held in a delightful cosy and relaxed sensory room this small group meets for one hour a week to shake rattles and bang drums.  The group meets once a week between 10.30-11.30am.  All the necessary equipment is provided and you would be teamed with a fellow volunteer.

Interactive sessions in the Mother and Baby unit run on Saturday mornings between 10am and midday.

Could you encourage children to enjoy reading or colouring, playing games or racing cars?

The play area has a play worker who would welcome volunteers with a keen interest in supporting play with youngsters. While the children are being kept amused their parents and families have a chance for a grown up chat. This can help to make visiting time a more relaxed experience. We offer volunteer sessions Tuesday-Thursday 1.30pm until 3.30pm and Saturday 1.30-3.30pm.

Family days help to maintain contact between people in prison and their children. There are approximately eight family days each year; four for male prisoners and four for female. 


Can you share your life experience of budgeting your finances, help with employability skills such as writing CV’s, cooking on a budget or have an interest in fitness? The education department within the prison are looking for people with these skills to help with their Life skills course.        

Organisation Description:

To recruit and train volunteers to work across various departments within the prison environment.

When Required:

Mon- Thursday

Session times are as follows

8.00-12:00 & 1.30-17:00

Different subjects are delivered each morning and afternoon

Commitment: Weekly

Areas of Interest:

  • Budgeting
  • Employability
  • Cookery
  • Body image and fitness

Types of Activity:

  • Supporting the teacher
  • Interacting with prisoners

Skills and Qualifications:

No specific qualifications

Volunteers must have a mature outlook, be willing to help, be interested in others and be a good communicator. It would be helpful to be patient, empathetic, and a good listener.

A note about safeguarding

We take Safeguarding very seriously.  You can see more details by following the link to our Safeguarding Policy.

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