D’s volunteering story
D is a volunteer mentor in the segregation unit at Humankind’s Reconnected to Health service in HMP Frankland.
Volunteer role: Drug and Alcohol Recovery Team (DART) Mentor
Before D entered HMP Frankland, they relied on alcohol every day and drank four times more than the recommended weekly amount. Because they went to work every day, they didn’t think they had a problem with alcohol, and didn’t realise how much it affected their family life.
When they entered HMP Frankland, D wanted to do something positive with their time and decided to engage with the Reconnected to Health DART. After speaking to a coordinator, they signed up. D engaged with in-cell work, awareness group sessions, and programmes. This made D realise how much they were drinking, how it impacted them, and how it impacted people around them.
D applied to become a DART mentor after completing this work, to help others move forward with their recovery and to give back. They started as a mentor in the Segregation Unit completing inductions for individuals that had been transferred there, while providing support and advice to increase people’s motivation. They received positive feedback from DART staff based on their work supporting prisoners with their substance use. D also distributed information and awareness leaflets and display posters in the unit to promote harm reduction.
D took this experience further and co-facilitated spice awareness sessions aimed at staff in the unit. These sessions were attended by senior officers and custodial managers, raising awareness of spice, its effects, and harms.
About their volunteering role, D said: “Being a DART mentor is a privilege. It’s a role where you can pass on your knowledge to other prisoners to help them move forward too.”