The training offered by Futures Unlocked has been found to be very valuable both in equipping volunteers for the mentoring role and as advocates for our client cohort within the wider community.



A full 2 days of training is provided to equip our volunteers for the mentoring role. Additionally, there is ongoing training with featured elements and peer support on a number of evenings during the year. There are regular review meetings with Chaplain, mentor and client where the volunteer gains additional insight into the role and what is available both within Futures Unlocked and in the wider community by way of support both for client and mentor.


Training is inter-active and engaging. There is an overview of the criminal justice system and the prison estate. We look at motivational interviewing and study our own and society’s views on criminality and the offender. There is an opportunity to meet with and discuss mentoring with a client and a mentor. There are role play activities. We also cover lone working, safeguarding, the charity’s policies and what is and is not mentoring within the context of the work we do. We study case histories and reflect on the support and guidance that can be given to a client on his/her journey.

Peer Support

We look to have peer support during the year. We put on additional training as may be requested or we think will enhance the skills of our volunteers. This is also the time when we offer the circle of support when volunteers can gain insight and strength from other volunteers who are able to offer practical guidance from their own experience.


Mentors are not alone in their work with clients. There is direct 1-2-1 contact with the supervising chaplain who can offer practical guidance on issues which arise in the mentoring process, is available for emotional support if needed at all times and at the 6 week reviews with client and mentor can ensure the relationship is still sound and moving forward. Many of our mentors have said how much they appreciate this degree of chaplain involvement.