The Safer Living Foundation (SLF) is a charity established in 2014 by representatives from HMP Whatton, Nottingham Trent University, Nottinghamshire Police and the National Probation Service. The fundamental aim of the charity is to prevent further victims of sexual abuse by setting up and running prevention and rehabilitation projects for convicted and potential sexual offenders at risk of sexual offending.
Circles of Support and Accountability (CoSA) are a successful community initiative proven to reduce sexual offending. A Circle is a group of 3-5 volunteers from a local community who meet regularly, as a group, with an individual who has committed a sexual offence to offer social, practical and emotional support, in addition to monitoring and supervision. The volunteers create the Circle of Support around the individual and hold the individual accountable for their offending, helping them to recognise risky thoughts or behaviours and take responsibility for the on-going management of their risk in the community.
Safer Living Foundation are looking for Circles Volunteers to work with adults and young people who have been convicted of sexual offences. They recruit volunteers in 3 different areas:
- Prison Circles of Support and Accountability
The prison model typically starts 3 months prior to an individual’s release from HMP Whatton and continues for approximately 18 months in the community after their release.
- Community Circles of Support and Accountability
The community model typically starts once an individual is in the community.
- Young People’s Circles of Support and Accountability
This involves delivering a Circle for a young person with problematic sexual behaviour. Volunteers will be expected to work creatively with these young people to build on their strengths, interests and hobbies.
Due to the sensitive nature of the programme, SLF are looking for volunteers to commit to a period of 12 months, for a few hours each week.
They do understand that students are often away for the holidays and have course and exam commitments, so are happy to be flexible where possible, as long as this is communicated to them and agreed in advance.
The initial training will take place at HMP Whatton near Bingham, but once you have completed this, you will be matched with a Circle group that is convenient for you.
The programme takes place across Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
- Click the ‘Register Your Interest’ button below.
- Ella from the Students’ Union Volunteer Centre will be in touch, and will pass on the contact details of Claire from the charity.
- Get in touch with Claire, and she'll send you an application form.
- You will be invited in for an informal interview.
- You will need to provide a reference from a previous employer, tutor, mentor etc.
- The charity will provide you with and pay for a DBS check.
- A full two day training session is given to all new volunteers.
- Applications are accepted all year round, and the charity aims to hold training days once every quarter.
- No formal qualifications are needed, but the ideal volunteers have a mature outlook, are emotionally stable and approachable.
- Travel and other expenses are covered by the charity.
What's in it for me?
This opportunity is amazing experience for anyone who wants to go into Law or Counselling once they have graduated.
You'll gain experience working with offenders, as well as learning how to help and support individuals, improve your communication and listening skills, and learn more about how the criminal justice system works.