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 (Enhanced) 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.
Lord Ramsbotham
Lord Ramsbotham
Our Patron
David Ramsbotham, Baron Ramsbotham GCB, CBE is a retired British Army officer, who later served as Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons from 1995 to 2001. He was awarded his life peerage in 2005 and now sits on the cross benches of the House of Lords. He is President of the Koestler Awards scheme and Vice-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Penal Affairs; he is President of UNLOCK and an Ambassador for the charity, The Prison Advice and Care Trust; he is a trustee and President of the Institute of Food, Brain and Behaviour; he is a Patron of Prisoners Abroad, a charity that supports the welfare of Britons imprisoned overseas and their families, and Prisoners Education Trust, a charity that supports serving prisoners through a range of academic, creative and vocational distance learning courses whilst inside; he is a Patron of the African Prisons Project, an international non-governmental organisation; he is President of the charity PTSD Resolution, which provides treatment to Veterans with post-traumatic stress through its UK-wide network of 200 therapists; he is Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Speech, Language and Communication Difficulties and of the Criminal Justice and Acquired Brain Injury Interest Group and also Chairman of the Cross Party Group on Drugs, Alcohol and Criminal Justice