Volunteers are needed to work with offenders as part of a new buddy probation scheme.

Opening Doors is the brainchild of the Wiltshire Probation Trust, in partnership with Diocese of Salisbury. It will see volunteer mentors paired with low risk offenders, such as shop lifters, in the hope it will discourage reoffending.

The scheme will be operating in Chipppenham, Trowbridge and Salisbury.

Project co-ordinator Laura Sexton said “We hope the pairs attend things like college open days and doctors appointments together, events that the offender might otherwise have felt intimidated by. Ideally the mentor would be there for the offender to call any time they just want to talk, so they don’t feel alone and tempted to reoffend. Volunteers are not required to have prior experience as they will be sent on a three-day induction course prior mentoring.”

The pairs’ outings will be supervised by the Wiltshire Probation Service.

For more information ring (01249) 656836 or e-mail volunteer@wiltshireprobation.org.uk