Our volunteers across England and Wales play a vital role in providing support to prisoners, people with convictions and their families. We recently celebrated their work as part of our annual conference, recognising six outstanding regional volunteers, as well as our 2021 'Volunteer of the Year'.

We started 2020/21 in the middle of community lockdown, with 561 active volunteers. Despite Covid-19 causing major disruptions to many of the services supported by our volunteers, we were pleased to end the financial year with 380 active volunteers and a further 149 prospective volunteers moving through our recruitment and training process.

We are particularly grateful for those who supported the growth of our national helpline and national befriending services,  providing emotional support over the phone to prisoners’ families struggling to cope with their loved one’s sentence. Both services grew considerably over the year as family members sought more support during this period of uncertainty.

Due to the challenges we’ve faced during the past year, our volunteers contributed 11,337 hours of their time to Pact (the equivalent of 1,511 working days) compared to 63,014 hours in the previous year. However, we continue to be hugely grateful to all those who give Pact their ongoing support and dedication.

In recognition of their outstanding contribution, our Regional Volunteer Awards, sponsored by Marsh Charitable Trust, were awarded to:

  • Lisa Taylor, Prisoners' Families Helpline & Befriending - National Services
  • Jess Tooley, HMP Belmarsh & HMP YOI Isis, Peer Support Groups & Befriending - London & South East
  • Mark Judd, CFO Mentoring Scheme & Befriending - West Midlands and CFO3
  • Camilla Albery, HMP Bristol, Befriending & Helpline - Wales, South & Cheshire
  • Alice Ketley, Communications & Volunteering - Central Office
  • Grace Mitchelmore, HMP Nottingham - The North, East Midlands & East of England

We were also delighted to award Camilla Albery our 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by our Board of Trustees, for her work supporting families at HMP Bristol. Her dedication to Pact is evident in the glowing praise received from staff, working partners and families, and we are very grateful to have her as part of our team.

“Camilla’s support and organisation has been invaluable, and the family and I are really appreciative of her dedication and organisation. The whole experience has been a really positive one for the children and the parents.  Camilla has built a good trusting relationship with them and was keen to interact with the children, making the visit as fun and as enjoyable as it could be.  As a result, the children felt safe, relaxed, and got to enjoy quality time with their father.  This experience is important for them as they were able to re-establish their relationship with their father before his pending release.  This would not have been possible without Camilla’s support!"

- Social Worker

"Camilla can make you feel welcome instantly. She is true to her word and amazing at what she does. Me and my family found her a complete ray of sunshine in a very difficult situation. I am glad our paths crossed - even if it wasn’t in the best circumstances. Thank you once again, Camilla, for everything you did, and carry being you - you're great!”

- Service User

If you are interested in volunteering for Pact, either locally or supporting one of our national services, take a look at our latest opportunities or contact us at [email protected].