Get involved

Volunteer as a mentor

Open Gate mentors are trained volunteers from the local community who will meet with a woman and establish a befriending relationship by visiting them before and after release from prison.

Volunteers may support through:

  • Helping women learn new life skills through Open Gate’s structured activities programme i.e. cooking, gardening, money management, sewing
  • Helping women attend appointments and access local services
  • Collecting donations for women setting up home
  • Assisting with practical tasks i.e. form-filling, phone calls and information gathering
  • Meeting socially for coffee and chat and being an active listener

Volunteers will be required to undergo a DBS check, receive training and provide references. No personal details (i.e. home address and telephone number) will be shared with clients and all communications are made via project staff.



“I really have a lot to thank Open Gate for; the support, regular calls asking how I am doing, and things for my house. Keep up the good work!”



Volunteer as a driver

Open Gate coordinates a volunteer driver scheme which was originally set up by local volunteers from St. Joseph’s Church, Gilesgate, Durham.

Women who are about to be released from prison can apply for a lift to the bus or railway station. Volunteers only transport women who have been risk assessed by both the prison and Open Gate.

If you live within accessible distance of HMP Low Newton and are able to spare some time on a week day morning, why not find out how you could get involved in our volunteer driver scheme.