Georgie helps women prisoners

I’m studying Psychology at Reading University and my goal is to become a Clinical Psychologist. I want to specialise in the treatment and care of young people and adults with mental health issues. To achieve this I need to gain as much experience as possible.

I contacted Thornbury Volunteer Centre and asked if they had any opportunities which may be suitable and which I could fit in around my studies. Amongst several of the options available was volunteering with the Prison Advice & Care Trust at HMP Eastwood Park. PACT supports prisoners and their families by providing prison-based family casework staff, children’s play services and refreshment services.

PACT had recently set up a new scheme which encouraged women inmates to record Story CDs. These would be sent home to their children so they could hear their mother reading them a bedtime story. This opportunity really appealed to me and I applied immediately. The security and vetting service for the prison service is very extensive and time consuming but after a wait of about four months I was finally able to attend my induction training.

My volunteering at the prison has been mind-blowing. I’ve been granted access to some of society’s most vulnerable members at a time when they are at their lowest. Through my volunteering I feel that I am making a real difference. I’ve provided a listening ear and signposted them to areas of help. I have seen the joy and excitement on the faces of children as they visit their mums and seen the despair on both sets of faces once these visits are over.

The PACT team have been encouraging and supportive throughout my volunteering; I’ve attended training courses, sat in on meetings and attended their annual conference. All of this has strengthened my resolve to work within this field on graduation.

Volunteering has not only opened my eyes to an unknown world, it has also given me confidence and a sense of self-worth that I would never have achieved otherwise.

News & information

Quiz Nights at the Swan We have been chosen to receive the funds from the Wednesday evening quiz nights. Please support us. More information.

Bags of help please! We have been chosen as a finalist in the Tesco Bags of Help scheme in its Thornbury store. More information.

Newsletter: Our 2017 newsletter has been published. Get it here.

Plans for 2018: Next year is our 30th anniversary. We plan events to bring organisations and volunteers closer together. Details here..

Personal Resilience and Stress Management Training Tools to help you feel less stressed. 31 January 2018. More information.

Experiences: Michele tells how a local company restored her confidence and helped her back into work.

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Thornbury Volunteer Centre is a registered charity, number 1004285. This site © Thornbury Volunteer Centre. Site design by Michael Quinion. Last updated 6 Feb. 2017.