Wiltshire Publications

Volunteer to support children with a parent in prison

It is estimated that there are 200,000 children a year who experience parental imprisonment. 

Barnardo’s, based at Her Majesty’s Prison Erlestoke, supports children of offenders by running a range of services including a Visitor’s Centre.

Volunteers help each week on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday in either the morning or the afternoon and play an important role by providing a welcoming and friendly face to families who are attending visits.

Barnardo’s volunteer coordinator Tori Jones said, “Our volunteers provide a warm welcome and give support. They are often the first people to greet the families to the prison and they make a huge difference by offering cups of tea and coffee, chatting to and listening to families and engaging with children.

“Some families have travelled miles in one day and our volunteers make sure that they are greeted and have the chance to sit down and prepare for their visit.

“This role is an excellent opportunity to make a positive difference to the experience the children have whilst visiting, as well as supporting a reduction in reoffending because 39% of prisoners who receive visits are less likely to offend again.

“The Visitor’s Centre often welcomes about 20 families per visit and we are now looking to increase our volunteer team so that we can provide the extra support that is needed. We are looking for friendly, caring people who enjoy working with children and who live locally to Erlestoke, to join our amazing team of volunteers.”

If you are available to give from three to six hours of your time, once a week, please contact Tori Jones at tori.jones@barnardos.org.uk or call 01380 816828 for more information.