Although the scheme runs in over 100 UK prisons, Storybook Dads only directly employs volunteers at our Head Office in HMP Channings Wood. Other UK prisons make their own arrangements. Unfortunately not many of them use volunteers because of the restrictions involved in working at a prison.

Things to consider before applying:

The vetting procedure is complicated and lengthy – often taking weeks or months. There are also many rules, restrictions and guidelines involved in working in prisons which volunteers must learn and adhere to. For this reason it’s important that volunteers can commit to a minimum of a year – otherwise it’s simply not worth staff time training them.

Even after clearance, volunteers are rarely issued with keys so have to be escorted everywhere once inside. This is quite counterproductive and time-consuming – you may not even be able to get to the loos without an escort! As you can imagine it can be quite inconvenient for a busy prison librarian if they have to keep interrupting their work to escort someone.

It is also worth bearing in mind that prisons are non-smoking so once inside smokers would have to last all day…or ask to be escorted out. Also no mobile phones (or any electronic devices) are allowed.

If you’re still interested in volunteering at one of our member prisons please apply below. We can pass on your details to the relevant contact. Please don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back – we get hundreds of requests from folks who would love to volunteer but we’ve only managed to place a couple of them.

Apply to become a volunteer

Other organisations working with prisoners and their families:

There are lots of other charities that work with prisoners or their families (e.g. in Visits Centres) so it may be worth finding out which ones work at your local prison by looking online. Here are some other useful links: