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 those convicted of sexual offences as well as those at risk of sexual offending.
About your role
Circles of Support and Accountability
(CoSA) are a successful community initiative proven to reduce sexual offending. A Circle is a group of 4 volunteers from the local community who meet regularly as a group for 1 hr a week, with an individual who has committed a sexual offence (called the Core member) 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 behaviour, helping them to recognise risky thoughts or behaviours and take responsibility for the on-going management of their risk in the community. The circle also works with the Core member to help them move towards their values and goals to work towards becoming the person they want to be, using compassion focussed therapies.
The Safer Living Foundation are looking for Circles Volunteers to work with adults and young people who have been convicted of sexual offences or who have sexually problematic thinking. They recruit volunteers for these different projects:
* Prison Circles of Support and Accountability
The prison model typically starts 2 to 3 months prior to an individual’s release from HMP Whatton and continues for approximately 12 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.
The Apollo Project
The Apollo Project is a therapeutically informed intervention working with young people who have shown sexually harmful behaviour. You will be working with two other volunteers to deliver structured coaching to your young person under the supervision of the Apollo Project Coordinator.
The Apollo Project requires more from our volunteers in terms of structure, planning and supervision, and in return you will receive valuable experience in delivering a therapeutically informed intervention to young people who have shown sexually harmful behaviour
Due to the nature of the programme, SLF are looking for volunteers to commit to a period of 12 months, for a couple of hours each week. Each meeting lasts around 1 hr, and there will be travel time either side of the meeting as well. They 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. They will ask what availability you have and work around your timetable. Circle meetings are normally held on the same day at the same time every week, but this can be flexible and meetings can be rearranged if all parties agree.
It is vitally important that volunteers are able to commit to the long term on a circle. This continuity is really important to the Core member, and if a volunteer leaves without reason, the CM will normally blame himself, which could seriously negatively affect him.
Circle meetings run in the week from 9am to 6pm, but we don’t run at weekends. Meetings are held at HMP Whatton or in Nott’s or Derby City centres
How to find us
The initial interview and 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 relevant contact details for the charity.
- You will be invited in for an informal interview at HMP Whatton.
- You will need to provide two references.
- The charity will provide you with and pay for a DBS check. If you wish to go onto a prison circle, further vetting will be required. The SLF will organise this.
- A full two day training session is given to all new volunteers. This will be on a Saturday and Sunday at HMP Whatton. Lunch is provided.
- 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 will have a mature outlook, be emotionally stable and approachable. They should also have a genuine desire to help the SLF’s client group, who are some of the most marginalised and misunderstood members of the community.
- Reasonable public travel 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 those convicted of sexual offences who have been through the prison system, 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.