The work we do at HMP & YOI Bronzefield is paramount in helping to rehabilitate the women in our custody however we recognise that to achieve our goals we cannot work in solitude. We work closely with a number of partner organisations, community groups and individuals to help facilitate effective rehabilitation of our residents.
Positive community ties play a crucial role in our rehabilitative success.
One such success is the work we do with the Women’s Institute (WI). Bronzefield was the first prison-based branch of the WI, it is run by the residents and has proved invaluable in helping build skills and boost confidence.
On their release, women find that membership of the WI provides them with an association to a national community organisation that they can be proud to be a part of.
We welcome positive contributions from external organisations to help us achieve our rehabilitative goals. If you would like to work with us please contact Craig.Wilson@SodexoJusticeServices.com.
Release on Temporary License
When a resident reaches a certain time and status within her sentence plan she can be eligible for release on temporary license (ROTL).This provides the woman the opportunity to obtain a job in the community, helping to prepare them for resettlement on release.
We actively look for new ROTL opportunities both to strengthen links with the local community and maximise the rehabilitative support we can offer the residents. If you feel you can provide an employment opportunity in your business we would be keen to talk to you. Please contact Craig.Wilson@SodexoJusticeServices.com.
Residents have worked for
- Brentford Football Club
- Royal Parks Society
- Spelthorne Borough Council
- Working Chance
- Hair Salons
If you would like to volunteer with us we have a variety of opportunities available to you through the Chaplaincy and through Friends of Bronzefield.To find out more about becoming any of our volunteering opportunities please email Carol.Miller@SodexoJusticeServices.com.
Official Prison Visitors
You can volunteer to become an Official Prison Visitor (OPV), providing support to residents who do not have any friends or family able to visit them in custody. OPVs offer a friendly face to those they visit and provide regular contact which is sympathetic and sensible, but independent of the prison and its staff. Confidences about family, past behaviour and prison life remain between the OPV and the resident, however OPVs must report any threat or security risks to staff, fellow residents or the prison that may arise from any conversations. OPVs provide a link to the wider community, ensuring that the resident knows that they have not been forgotten.
We have opportunities for members of faith communities to work alongside our chaplains in providing faith development. This could be assisting or running study groups or courses, helping with music in worship or working with individuals.
Pastoral Care Team
Our Pastoral Care Team are people with existing skills and training in counselling, listening or pastoral care. They see women on an individual basis to help them cope with loss, bereavement, family problems or difficulty coping in prison and normally offer half a day or a whole day every week. A thorough induction and support is given.
Through the Gate
Some women need support women on their day of release, accompanying them to Ashford railway station, or sometimes to London terminals and beyond. Training is given for this role which is normally is carried out between 7.30am and 9.30am and requires you to have a positive attitude and to be reasonably fit (able to walk required distances and sometimes to help carry luggage).
Community Chaplaincy Mentoring
Volunteer Mentors support prisoners throughout the resettlement process, encouraging them to achieve their goals, successfully integrate into the community and break the cycle of reoffending. They play a key role on discharge in bridging the gap between prison and the community, by offering continuity of support and links to faith groups and the services they provide.
We provide a friendly tea bar service to friends and relatives in the Visits Centre, many who will have travelled long distances. Volunteers work in pairs for a few hours, serving hot and cold drinks, snacks and confectionary, and making visitors feel welcome.
For those with specialist skills we are sometimes able to find roles working with the appropriate prison department. This might be areas such as education, arts and crafts, foreign languages, gardening or work skills and is dependent on the needs of the departments concerned.
Other ways you can help support our residents
Community groups or individuals can help by collecting items when needed, for use by our women. Items that are often in demand are:
- Clothing: Smart black clothes to wear to court. Casual clothing, coats, scarves, gloves & shoes for discharge (Clothes must be clean and in good condition)
- Wool: for knitting projects.
- Faith related books for the Chaplaincy library (Faith books only, which need to be in good condition and fairly recent publications. Academic books or dated bible-study notes not suitable).
- Plants / seeds for the gardening team.
- Toiletries: basic toiletries for women on discharge.