Meet Kerry, one of our Helpline volunteers

As soon as I stared working at Pact it felt like 'home'.

In 2017 my then husband was arrested, remanded and sentenced to a minimum of 9 years in prison. His arrest came just days after our wedding, and I was 7 and a half months pregnant at the time. It was during this time that I experienced the hidden battle prisoners’ families face. The isolation, pain and the judgement that I felt left me wishing that there were people out there that could understand what I was going through and who could have supported me or even just offered me a non-judgemental ear. Unfortunately, during my time of need I was unaware that any such organisation existed to offer me the help I would have so desperately needed. So, when I eventually did find out about Pact and the fantastic work they were doing I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer for them.

As soon as I started working at Pact on the Helpline it felt like ‘home’. It helped give meaning to my experience: I had experienced pain so I could go on to help other people walking a similar painful path to the one me and my children have walked.

I have now been volunteering for Pact for over a year, offering support and advice to prisoners’ families and friends on the Helpline. I am also a volunteer ambassador for Pact as part of the Hear Our Voices project which enables prisoners’ families voices to be heard within the criminal justice system. I’ve also had the chance to volunteer in other areas of Pact including as a face-to-face and telephone befriender, so that I can use my experience to help support others going through the same challenges.

Volunteering for Pact is amazing. Not only is it building my confidence and developing my skill set but also giving me the opportunity to feel the empowerment that comes from owning your own story. For Pact gave me a platform to own my own story and to have my story heard. To not only help inspire others but to help bring about change. That’s an incredible thing to be part of.

Find out more about Kerry's experience by watching her video:

If you want to find out more about Kerry's role or if you have any questions about volunteering with Pact, get in touch with us on [email protected].