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Essex Women’s Volunteer Mentors

Open Road and the Probation Service work in partnership across Essex to deliver a Support and Substance Misuse Mentor Service specifically for women.


What is the Women’s Support and Substance Misuse Mentor Service?

We train and support volunteer mentors to work with women offenders during their period of rehabilitation. This service aims to improve personal outcomes for individuals and those close to them. The service contributes positively to the wider community – by reduced risk of re-offending, improved community safety and fewer instances of anti-social behaviour.

What do Volunteer Mentors do?

One-to-one support:

  • Provide one-to-one support to offenders from a range of backgrounds and circumstances
  • Act as positive role models, help raise the individual’s confidence and self-esteem, and support them in identifying and achieving realistic goals and aspirations
  • Meet with offenders, usually weekly, at a Probation Office, Open Road Centre or in a community setting, helping them to re-integrate into society
  • Accompany offenders to appointments if needed - the GP, Dentist, Jobcentre Plus, training and educational courses and job interviews

And/or group support:

Volunteer alongside Open Road staff to deliver information sessions to groups of women offenders enabling them to access services in the wider community

What skills are we looking for in a volunteer?

Relate to the issues and challenges faced by service users
Respect and understand the need for confidentiality
Be an effective communicator & demonstrate good interpersonal and listening skills
Identify and understand risk situations
Be willing to undertake training and continuing development
Be committed to the agreed hours allocated for the volunteer role

Where can I be a Volunteer Mentor?

Locations across Essex

How much time do Volunteer Mentors need to give?

A minimum of ½ day (or evening); up to a maximum of 3 days per week.

Full training and ongoing support provided; out of pocket expenses paid.

NB: due to the nature of the service this role is open to women only.

How do I contact the Open Road Volunteer Team?

For volunteer enquiries, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call Head Office Volunteer Team on 01206 369782