Smiling student

Work with Choices Consultancy Service

Volunteers

Make a real difference to many lives

Choices Consultancy Service (Choices) rely on volunteers to help deliver and maintain all their services. If you would like to contribute some of your time to help us reduce re-offending by helping prisoners and their families please click on our link to obtain an application form, complete the form, email it or post it to our volunteer coordinator who will then contact you.

 

We Actively Recruit volunteers from Diverse Backgrounds

Choices pride themselves on providing quality guidance and support to all volunteers during their time with us. All our volunteers are fully trained by both Choices and the Prison Service. This training is completely free and is updated annually. Choices pay travelling expenses up to £15 per session.

Compassion and a Non-Judgmental Approach

Choices are seeking volunteers who have compassion and a non-judgmental approach with the enthusiasm to connect with families and prisoners. Choices provide support services with the aim to maintain family ties, raise self-confidence and self-worth and help reduce re-offending rates. Choices are looking for volunteers to assist during visiting times in the visits centre and then continuing in the visits hall to help run the T. Bars and/or play areas.

Flexible and Friendly

Choices visit centre’s offer a warm and friendly environment for all visitors including play facilities for children of all ages. Volunteers are required to help support visitors through the booking process and assist with daily duties, such as administrative and cleaning tasks to enable choices to provide a productive service to all. After all visitors are processed for their visit, volunteers will then be required to go to the visits hall where Choices open a tea bar providing hot food, drinks and snacks to visitors and prisoners. Volunteers will be required to serve customers and conduct cleaning duties at the end of each shift. Shifts start in the visits centre at 12:00 and finish at 16:30.

Commitment to Volunteer

The vetting procedures are lengthy and can sometimes take up to 4 months to complete. An enhanced DBS will be required which can be obtained by Choices at a cost of £10. If you have an Enhanced DBS that is less than one years old at the time of clearance, a new DBS will not be required.

Choices require volunteers to commit to at least two shifts per month. Monthly rotas are drawn up in the previous month enabling volunteers to know what shifts they are working before each month and provides more flexibility of changing monthly shift patterns. If you feel you would like to become a volunteer, please complete the online application form (by clicking on the volunteer tab above). Once the application form has been received, Choices staff will begin the process.

Please note, If you have worked abroad at any time you will also need to apply for proof of residency during your stay.

Student Volunteers

Choices link up with various universities and colleges providing opportunities for students who are carving out a career within the Criminal Justice System, Social Care or Early Childhood Studies. We have made strong links with the University of Plymouth. Social Work and Criminology students are operating within Choices as part of their practice learning experience. Choices have also accepted students from other faculties such as Law and Psychology and Sociology. Choices ask for a minimum commitment of 160 placement hours for each student.

If your degree does not facilitate placement opportunities, you can still gain valuable experience by volunteering your services with Choices.

If you would like to find out more please contact our volunteer coordinator Luke by Email or telephone.

Email: Volunteer@choiceshelpsfamilies.org.uk
Tel: 07956583282

Work With Us – Awareness Raising

Choices work as advocates for prisoners and their families.

Much of this work involves actively engaging with policy makers and the community. Raising awareness to professional bodies of the plight of prisoners, their children and families. Arenas are created where professional bodies can discuss how they can help improve services and experiences for children and families. Raising awareness also helps to break down barriers. The more we lobby and discuss the issues families have to face, the less likelihood that children and families of prisoners will remain to be the forgotten victims of crime.

Man raising awareness through talk
Baby playing with wooden blocks

Our Mission Statement

“To support and advise prisoners and their families to promote and enable positive change.”

Contact details

Luke Donohoe.
Volunteer Co-ordinator:
Choices Consultancy Service
HMP Dartmoor
Princetown
Yelverton
Devon
PL20 6RR
Email: Volunteer@choiceshelpsfamilies.org.uk
Tel: 07956 583282

Dawlish & East Teignbridge Volunteer Centre
Manor House
Old Toon Street
Dawlish Devon EX7 9AW
Tel No: 01626 888321
Email: shirleyfewings@dawlish-vb.org.uk

Plymouth Volunteer Service
Plymouth Guild
Ernest English House
Buckwell Street
Plymouth PL1 2DA
Tel No: 01752 201766
Email: volcen@plymouthguild.org.uk

Volunteer Centre East Devon
Ridgeway House
Ridgeway
Ottery St Mary
Devon EX11 1DT
Tel No: 01404 549045
Email: sandra.chapman@edvsa.org.uk

Volunteer Centre Exeter
Wat Tyler House
King William Street
Exeter EX4 6PD
Tel No: 01392 202055
Email: emilymccarthy@exetercvs.org.uk

Volunteer Centre South Hams
The Cottage
Follaton House
Plymouth Road
Totnes TQ9 5NE
Tel no: 01803 862266
Contact: Sarah Davies
Email: volunteering@southhamscvs.org.uk

Volunteer centre Teignbridge CVS
Forde House
Brunel Road
Newton Abbot
TQ12 4XX
Tel No: 01626 215903
Contact: Anja Kroening-Maynard
Email: volunteercentre@teigncvs.org.uk

West Devon CVS
5 King Street
Tavistock PL19 0DS
Tel No: 01822 618230
Email: vc-tavi@westdevoncvs.org.uk