Volunteers at Make Amends provide a pivotal role in enabling people to move on from crime. They work alongside paid members of staff to provide an essential link between the people and communities affected by crime and those responsible for the harm caused.
Volunteer practitioners are required to be good listeners, be non-judgmental and be impartial because much of their time is spent listening to people talk about what happened and what they need to move on. Most work is completed in the community, with volunteers attending home visits with another practitioner to meet people affected by crime and those responsible. Some meetings also take place in the prison.
To find out more about the process of applying to become a volunteer and the commitment and training involved, download our volunteer leaflet:
Introducing Keith Nicholls – a Make Amends volunteer
Keith Nicholls started his journey as a Volunteer RJ Practitioner with Make Amends in 2020. In September 2021, Keith completed a face to face conference with Senior Practitioner, Charlotta Gare. Keith shares his experience below.
“I have just completed my first case as a volunteer Restorative Justice Practitioner, which was both fulfilling and effective. I assisted Senior Practitioner, Charlotta, and together we met the harmer and the harmed person over several months to organise a restorative conference between them. This required some independent working and travelling to meetings, with some in a custodial setting. I was able to observe and share my thoughts and was fully supported by Charlotta.
My views of the participants and the issues involved became more informed over time. I became more confident and resourceful, liaising with the harmed person and meeting them at the conference venue. In this case, the outcomes were very positive – possibly even transformative – for the participants. The restorative justice process was guided by them and enabled by the skill and dedication of Make Amends.”