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 release.

Then after release they may offer support through:

  • Helping to access housing and maintaining tenancies
  • Helping with getting to and keeping appointments
  • Help with filling in forms and accessing services
  • Meeting socially for coffee and chat and being a listener

Mentors will be paired with someone who is resettling locally within comfortable travelling distance.  No personal details (i.e. home address and telephone number) will be made known to the women, and communication is made through mobile phone or via project staff.

Volunteers will be required to undergo an enhanced CRB check and receive adequate training.  Open Gate reimburses volunteer expenses for travel and refreshments.


Two thirds of women received help for a mental / emotional problem in the year prior to custody, and a significant proportion of women in prison self-harm.



Volunteer as a driver

Open Gate coordinates a volunteer driver scheme which was started as a parish ministry at St. Joseph’s Church, Gilesgate, Durham.

The women can request a lift to the train or bus station from the prison gate, provided by volunteers.

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.