Mentor for the Probation Service

Opening Doors
Contract Type: 
2 hours per week minimum
South West
Details of Role: 

Opening Doors is a voluntary body which aims to create safer and stronger communities through reducing crime, the victims of crime and preventing re-offending. We do this by offering Voluntary support to low and medium risk Service Users who are being supervised by Working Links and its associated CRCs

Opening Doors understands that Volunteers have an enormous contribution to make to the prevention of re-offending and bring great benefits in their work with offenders, such as…

  • Providing valuable links with the local community
  • Acting as a positive role model
  • Bringing new skills and interests
  • Complementing and enhancing the work of working Links

Why become a Volunteer?

Becoming a Volunteer with Opening Doors will provide you with an opportunity to help reduce re-offending in your local community thereby benefiting offenders, potential victims, your local community and society as a whole.

Other benefits include;

  • Personal challenge
  • Development and achievement
  • New and improved skills
  • Opportunities to meet new people
  • Work experience and increased career options

We also offer…

  • An Induction / Training Package; We run a two day Induction Package which covers everything you need to know regardless of your level of experience or knowledge Regular supervision
  • Regular contact with the Project Co-ordinator will ensure that you are finding your time spent with Opening Doors to be rewarding and beneficial and that we are achieving our aims.
  • Supervision is also held regularly as a group, giving you the chance to meet and spend time with other Volunteers
  • Regular developmental training; You will be offered further developmental training; this will either be Volunteer Mentor specific with other Volunteers or ‘in-house’ training with Working Links staff Expenses
  • You should not be out of pocket as a result of Volunteering with Opening Doors; there is a system for claiming expenses on a monthly basis.

What do we ask of you?

  • Time and commitment - A commitment of two hours+ per week for a minimum of six months, some of which will be within office hours.
  • To attend the two day induction course, pre and post induction interviews, ongoing supervision and training
  • Motivation and confidence - Working with offenders can be difficult and demanding; you will need to be motivated, have a belief that people can change and deal with sometimes challenging behaviour
  • An open mind - You will need to have an open mind and be non-judgemental in your work
  • Reliability and punctuality - As a positive role model, you will need to be reliable and punctual. We ask this of our offenders and this needs to be reciprocated
  • Patience - The changes that we support offenders to make can take a long time. You will need to be patient and recognise the small but significant changes
  • Discretion - You will need to be discreet as you are likely to be dealing with sensitive and personal information

What sort of work will I be doing?

  • Mentoring: Mentoring is defined as “a one to one, non-judgemental relationship in which an individual voluntarily gives time to support and encourage another.”
  • Building Self Esteem: assisting with practical tasks.
  • Supporting Group Work: Helping out at Groups Assisting with delivery of handouts and content Assisting Service Users with Literacy issues
  • Education training & Employment Groups: Assisting with development of literacy and numeracy skills
  • Helping offenders to get into work or training by going with an offender to the Job Centre or College open days
  • Commuity Payback groups: Supporting CP supervisors to manage the groups
  • Assisting in creating a positive environment

How do I become a Volunteer Mentor with Opening Doors?

To volunteer with Opening Doors, you need to satisfactorily complete our application process: Application form, a pre-induction interview, provide two references, a Disclosure & Barring Service check, Induction training (2 day course), Post induction interview, Probationary period of three months.

Due to the nature of the work that Volunteers undertake, applicants need to be 21 years of age or over.

We undertake Disclosure & Barring Service checks: all previous convictions and cautions must be declared.

We will consider applications from people with previous convictions, however, applicants must be free of all convictions and / or Probation supervision for at least two years. Only in exceptional circumstances will people with convictions for violence, sexual offences, racially motivated offences, domestic violence, drug supply and breach of trust offences be considered for inclusion in the project.

Closing Date: 
Wednesday, 14 February, 2018 - 09:45
How to Apply: 

Please email: - please ensure you include your telephone number as some spam filters will block emails from us.

In order to be accepted as a Volunteer Mentor with Opening Doors, candidates will complete an application form, attend a pre-induction interview, successfully complete a three day Induction Programme and attend a post-induction interview.

NB. Due to the nature of work undertaken, applicants must be 21 years of age or over.

Potential volunteers must be willing and able to;

  • Offer a minimum of two hours a week (in office hours) for six months; this does not include the time taken for training and supervision
  • Complete the full Induction Programme and ongoing developmental training.
  • Attend regular group and individual Supervision meetings with the Project Co-ordinator.
  • Work within Opening Doors & Working Links/CRC policies
  • Understand and respect confidentiality
  • Work within a team
  • Work within the boundaries set for Volunteer Mentors
  • Be reliable, punctual, patient and trustworthy
  • Evidence good communication skills Whilst in training

Volunteer Mentors must be able to;

  • Read and understand the course materials (support can be offered for those with Dyslexia and those with other literacy needs)
  • Demonstrate good communication skills
  • Reflect on personal experience and feelings
  • Participate in group discussions and activities

Required values, attitudes and beliefs of Volunteer Mentors;

  • A belief that people can change
  • To be able to motivate and support people to change, emphasising personal choice and responsibility whilst having empathy, warmth and genuineness
  • Treat every Mentee with respect, courtesy and care
  • A non-judgemental approach to working with Service users
  • Be reliable, punctual and flexible
  • Be confident in the work that you are undertaking
  • To evidence discretion in the work that you do and the information that you receive about others
Contact Person: 
Christian Matthews
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 
Postal Address: 
BGSW CRC Eden House PO Box 356 Bristol BS16 2EQ