How You Can HelpThere are different ways in which people help and support us. Some people give their time and become visitors. Others might not be able to commit to this, but help us financially or by donating clothing. As a charity with limited means, we are grateful for any help we receive.
Become a volunteer
Volunteering as a visitor is challenging and often stressful. For this reason, qualities such as emotional maturity, empathy and impartiality are more valuable to us than any previous experience. To cope with the demands of visiting, volunteers must have clearly defined boundaries and a realistic understanding of their own limitations. GDWG visitors come from many walks of life, are of every age and from different cultural and professional backgrounds. There are five steps to becoming a visitor:
- Introductory session: We hold regular sessions throughout the year, which enable you to meet with us and find out if visiting is for you. Please contact the office if you are interested in attending our next session.
- Interview: We interview all potential volunteers.
- References: We ask for two character references and check all new volunteers with the Disclosure and Barring Service.
- Induction: Our staff will provide a full induction, which includes an accompanied first visit to Tinsley House or Brook House.
- Training: We ask new visitors to complete a mandatory session for all new volunteers. This cover the legal aspects of detention, the psychological effects for detainees, cultural awareness and listening skills. We provide regular ongoing training for all of our volunteers throughout the year on various aspects of visiting, often bringing in external trainers.
Our volunteers come from the following catchment areas – Brighton, Crawley, Reigate/Redhill, Horsham, and Oxted/East Grinstead. Local support groups are held every six to eight weeks in each of these areas, to enable visitors to share their experiences with each other. In addition, our four members of staff are on hand during office hours to help with any worries visitors may have concerning the detainee they are visiting.
If you live in another part of the country and would like to become a visitor, please contact AVID, who can advise you further.
Become a Friend
If you would like to become a Friend of GDWG please complete this form or contact the office. There is no fixed subscription, we just ask that you pay what you feel you can afford. As a guideline though we suggest £25 for individuals and £35 for a joint membership. In return we will keep you update with all the news from GDWG via our newsletters and email bulletins, and you will also enjoy other benefits that we will contact you about from time to time.
Donate to our work
If you would like to help GDWG financially, you can either make a one-off donation, via Gift Aid: make a gift today or if you would like to set up a standing order, please contact us. GDWG is a small charity that relies mainly on grant-making trusts to fund its work, but also on private donations that are greatly appreciated. You can also send cheques, made payable to Gatwick Detainees Welfare Group, to our office.
Leaving a gift to charity in your will is a very special way of helping to secure the future for organisations such as GDWG, and has the added benefit of being free from inheritance tax. If you are considering including a legacy to GDWG in your will, we would very much appreciate being informed of your generous act, and we can also provide a Form of Codicil which can be attached to your current will. There is further information in this Legacy leaflet