Volunteer with us

We are always on the look out for mentors who can commit to at least a year with us, giving on average ten hours per month to a young person including travel time.

You can submit an application to join us at any time. When we receive a completed application form, we will acknowledge receipt normally within two weeks. As part of our commitment to Safer Recruitment, all application forms will be carefully assessed for suitability and so we would encourage you to read the application guidance with care. Should we choose not to progress your application, you will be notified within four weeks and where possible we will signpost you to other volunteering opportunities. It is also worth noting that there is a rigorous vetting process as well as a DBS (Enhanded) disclosure and a HMPS shared services disclosure.

Once you have completed the initial training, suitable references received and you have been security cleared to work within the relevant young offending institution, we will begin matching you to a suitable mentee. At every stage of the matching process you will be consulted and the final decision will be yours before any match is confirmed.

While you are mentoring a young person, you can claim reasonable travel expenses. We can reimburse train or bus fares and if you are using your car, mileage can be claimed at 40p per mile. All volunteer mentors are asked for a minimum commitment of twelve months - with weekly, one hour visits to their mentee whilst they are in prison and fortnightly initially and then monthly meetings once they have been released. Most of our mentors work with young people for between three and six months inside prison and continue that relationship for up to twelve months in the community. In considering your application to join Trailblazers, we would ask you to give particular thought to this commitment and whether you can maintain it. It is normal for you to mentor one young person during your first year and this may be extended to two young people if we feel you have the time and capacity to do this.

As a mentor, you will be fully supported and supervised by an experienced Project Manager who will meet with you formally every four to six weeks to discuss the match and identify any additional needs. We facilitate quarterly mentor group meetings (in the evenings) to give all mentors the opportunity to listen to guest speakers and to share best practice. In addition to the initial training programme, you will also attend a further two days of training during your first year to get an understanding of the ‘Tool Kits’ we use to structure our mentoring programme.