Volunteer with New Leaf

Social disadvantage and exclusion is a major issue for many ex offenders. Often, after imprisonment, their already difficult situation deteriorates, and many find it hard to reintegrate successfully with their families, friends and the community in general. Finding somewhere to live, getting a job, and overcoming their personal problems can be major obstacles.
Prisoners have a high likelihood to re-offend. Approximately 68% of adult offenders re-offend within two years of release.  Evidence suggests that appropriate support, can reduce this re-offend rate significantly. New Leaf, established in 2010 and with only 4 staff and 30 volunteers, supports people through the challenging first few weeks after their release, and to help them address any issues and obstacles they might have which stand in the way of effective re-settlement
New Leaf provides fully trained volunteer mentors to work on a one to one basis with  clients. Mentors help clients to plan and work towards their goals, and to overcome problems they might have along the way. They offer non judgemental support, encouragement and advice. Mentors meet with clients before release, on the day of release, and then weekly to review progress and help put plans into action. They also signpost clients towards specialist help for problems such as homelessness, debt, drugs, alcohol and relationships. Mentors are available by telephone at agreed times, to offer support and advice between meetings.
Help also comes in the form of Community Packs. Most offenders leave prison with less than £50 to support them and the packs make a huge difference. They contain items such as a washbag with deodorant, toothbrush & toothpaste, shower gel, shampoo, small towel, plastic cutlery and a tin opener as well as other small items that we all take for granted. 
Volunteering with New Leaf is open to anyone who feels they have the time, character, energy and commitment to support an offender through the challenging first weeks after release. You need to be able to meet weekly with the ex-offender, and to be available to them by telephone (mobile provided by New Leaf) at hours to be agreed between you and them.
There are also a number of volunteer roles including at the Family Matters Court Desks, proving immediate support to families when a member is sent to prison, and other roles You can find out more at http://newleafproject.co.uk/volunteering-with-us
To find out ways that you might like to support New Leaf, they can be contacted on 01844 202001 or 07848 037 749 or you can go to www.newleafproject.co.uk

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Oct 21, 2018

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The Autumn edition of the Age UK Buckinghamshire Engage Magazine 2018.

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