New Bridge Foundation
To provide people in prison with a bridge to the outside world, along with an increased sense of value and potential for their future.

Founded in 1956, New Bridge Foundation works to support people in prison to resettle back into the community after release. Over the years we have run a variety of additional projects to support people to this end, including Through The Gate programmes and family support programmes. However our core offering since our inception has been a befriending service delivered by volunteers, which we continue to run today. 


How It Works 

Volunteers are trained to become befrienders and then matched with a person in prison with whom they then exchange letters (about once a fortnight). We also organize visits to the prison 3-4 times a year.   

Volunteers receive full training and ongoing support via our monthly volunteer support group meetings - these are a friendly and supportive space to update on how things are going with your prisoner, and to ask advice from more experienced volunteers.  To ensure safety and protection of personal information, volunteers use a pseudonym while writing and visiting.  


People in prison who do not have any visits from family or friends have much worse outcomes: increased rates of self-harm; increased likelihood of reoffending on release; and sadly, increased rates of suicide. Connecting with the prisoners through letters and visits can  

  • reaffirm the person’s sense of self-worth and feeling of belonging in any community 
  • help to aid successful reintegration after release, reducing reoffending 
  • combat loneliness and improve the mental health of those serving long prison sentences 
Non-judgemental: we believe every person has value
Inclusive: we accept applications from any person in prison, and any volunteer who shares our values
Independent: we are wholly separate from and not influenced by the criminal justice system
Prisoner-led: our volunteers shape their correspondence and visits around the needs of the person they support
Constant: we provide a reliable connection between those inside and outside prison

We are looking for compassionate, empathetic and committed people to join our volunteering community, supporting isolated people in prison by providing a social connection and a bridge to the outside world.  

Our Opportunities

Volunteer befrienders for people in prison
New Bridge Foundation
Min. 52 Weeks Minimum weeks
London, United Kingdom
Volunteer befrienders for people in prison
Crime and Violence, Mental Health

Bring positivity and hope to an isolated person in prison by keeping in touch through letters and visits - all expenses reimbursed.