Other helpful organisations

This section provides links to a number of organisations that work with prisoners and their families. 

Campaigning and Umbrella Organisations


Supporting voluntary organisations that work with offenders and their families.

Howard League for Penal Reform

The Howard League for Penal Reform is a national charity working for less crime, safer communities and fewer people in prison.


Nacro, the crime reduction charity, is dedicated to reducing crime and reoffending in communities across England and Wales. It designs and delivers programmes that aim to equip people with the skills, advice, attitude and support they need to move their lives on and move away from crime.

Prison Reform Trust

The Prison Reform Trust (PRT) is an independent UK charity working to create a just, humane and effective penal system.

Drugs and alcohol


A UK drug and alcohol treatment charity.

Addiction Helper 

Free help for anyone affected by addiction with advice on both NHS and private drug and alcohol treatment options. 



National organisation working with and for families affected by drugs and alcohol. 


To promote the prevention, recognition and treatment associated to use and misuse of substances including alcohol, drugs and gambling.


Recovery services for drug and alcohol.  High quality wrap around recovery support for adults and young people across the north east.

Talk to Frank 

Frank offers friendly, confidential drug advice 24 hours a day, 

Emotional support

The Samaritans

The Samaritans is a charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress,  struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide, often through their 24 hour freephone helpline: Call 116 123

Newbridge Foundation

New Bridge is a charity that supports volunteers to befriend people in prison by exchanging letters and visiting.


Faith, gender and racial equality organisations

Safe families for children

Safe Families for Children (Safe Families) works hand-in-hand with children’s services to link families in need with local volunteers who can offer them help and support.
Helpline: 0191 374 4778 or email: info@safefamiliesforchildren.com

Trans Aware

Trans Aware is a charity in the North East of England, specifically aimed towards the needs of Transgender and Non-Binary people 
Tel: 01642 221107 or email: enquiries@transaware.org.uk 

Housing and homelessness


A national charity providing housing advice and information.


Centrepoint is the UK's leading charity for homeless young people - but what does that actually mean? It means that, together with their partners, we support 9,000 young people every year. Centrepoint helps people aged 16-25 year old into a safe place to live, give them a health assessment and plan support for their individual mental and physical health needs. Centrepoint start them on a path to more independence and a job.


Gentoo is a housing association that owns and manages more than 28,000 homes. They believe that by putting people first so they can build great homes and create strong communities.

Thirteen Group

Whether you’re looking to buy a new-build house or rent a sheltered housing apartment, Thirteen do their best to help with your home search. Their range of properties includes houses, flats, bungalows and specialist housing, so they have something to suit everybody’s needs.


DASH - standing for Durham Action on Single Housing - works with the mission statement of: Positive Intervention on Single Homelessness. DASH endeavours to do this in many ways, the main focus being on providing Supported Housing in our own and managed property and a Tenancy Support Service (Floating Support) to tenants of other organisations.


Opening their doors to their first client on 3rd May 1999 FirstStop continue to provide information, advice, support and onward referral to those who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, or who are socially excluded. They continue to redefine the services they offer to those people most in need by expanding  services to offer a more complete and comprehensive service.


Stonham, part of Home Group, is one of the UK's largest care and support providers. We work with vulnerable and elderly people who have a variety of needs, including:

•    Homelessness
•    Substance abuse problems
•    Mental health issues
•    Learning difficulties
•    Domestic violence
•    Ex-offenders


Information about prisons

Assisted prison visits scheme

For help with the cost of travel
Tel: 0300 063 2100 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm
Website: www.gov.uk/help-with-prison-visits
Email: assisted.prison.visits@noms.gsi.gov.uk

Doing Time

Doing Time is a website which aims to explain the reality of what people face as they are processed through the prison and probation system, and will help people to deal with the day-to-day issues.

Email a prisoner

Tel: 03333 70 65 50 or www.emailaprisoner.com


The national monthly newspaper for prisoners.

Prisoner location service

Use the Prisoner Location Service to find people in prison when you do not know which prison they are in. The prisoner must give their permission for their information to be shared, unless you belong to certain organisations such as the police or a solicitors’ firm.

Email: prisoner.location.service@noms.gsi.gov.uk 

Prison Ombudsman

The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) carries out independent investigations into deaths and complaints in custody.

Prison Service

The Ministry of Justice publishes content on GOV.UK and the following:

National Prison Finder

Locate a prison in England

Mental health

Mental Health Matters 

Call the team at Mental Health Matters any, day 6pm-6am for expert advice and guidance.

The Samaritans

The Samaritans is a charity aimed at providing emotional support to anyone in emotional distress,  struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide, often through their 24 hour freephone helpline: Call 116 123

Talking Changes

Talking Changes is a self-help and talking therapies service for people living in County Durham and Darlington.
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 09.00 - 20.00.  Wednesday &  Friday 09.00 - 17.00.
0191 333 3300

We can talk

A website for the Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland area signposting people to information for self-referral into mental health support in the area.


Mind provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

CHAMS offer a range of therapeutic services for children, young people and their families who experience moderate to severe emotional/mental health problems, including direct and indirect clinical work through consultation and training. Direct therapeutic work offered includes cognitive behavioural therapy, group work, play therapy and family therapy. 


Rethink are a national mental health charity: information, services & a strong voice for everyone affected by mental illness - challenging attitudes and changing lives.

Alzheimers Association

Alzheimers Associsation are here for anyone worried about or affected by dementia. They provide information and support fund medical and social research, and campaign for better quality of life for people with dementia and greater understanding of the condition.

Everything they do is guided by the things people affected by dementia have said they want to see in their lives.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is one of the largest mental health and disability Trusts in England employing more than 6,000 staff, serving a population of approximately 1.4 million, providing services across an area totalling 2,200 square miles.

NTW work from over 60 sites across Northumberland, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Gateshead, South Tyneside and Sunderland. They also have a number of regional and national specialist services.

Tees, Esk and Wear Valley HNS Trust

TEWV serves patients across a large geographical area. Our main towns and cities are Durham, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Whitby, Harrogate,  Ripon, Vale of York and there are numerous smaller seaside and market towns scattered throughout our patch. They are also in the catchment area for the largest concentration of armed forces personnel in the UK (Catterick Garrison).

Money and debt

Citizens Advice

Find details of your local Citizens Advice Bureau at www.citizensadvice.org.uk or ask at  your local library.

Turn 2 Us

Turn2us is a national charity that helps people, from over 120 professional backgrounds, in financial hardship gain access to welfare benefits, charitable grants and support services.
Their website has an 'easy to use' benefit calculator and grants search tool. 

Parents and carers

Family Lives

Family Lives is a charity helping parents to deal with the changes that are a constant part of family life.

Sure Start

Sure Start Children’s Centres provide advice and support for parents and carers, from pregnancy to when a child goes to school.
Email: info@dcsf.gsi.gov.uk   Tel: 0870 000 2288

Durham County Carers Support

Durham County Carers Support is a registered Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee.  They are a voluntary organisation that provides free high quality services and support to unpaid Carers over the age of 18 who support someone living in the County Durham area. If you would like to speak to them, or make an enquiry, please call on 0300 005 1213 or click www.dccarers.org/

Barnardo’s parenting services

Barnardo's work includes parenting groups and one-to-one work with parents through their network of family centres, community-based parenting programmes, and specialised work with parents who have particular needs. Some services organise courses which give parents a chance to step back and think about some of the things they are doing and how to improve. We also help girls who become pregnant whilst still at school by providing support to enable them to finish their education and prepare for parenthood. Barnardo’s parenting services provide both general support and specific parenting education programmes which enable parents to deal more effectively with a range of children’s behaviour. www.barnardos.org.uk/

Restorative justice

Restorative Justice Council

Restorative justice brings those harmed by crime or conflict and those responsible for the harm into communication, enabling everyone affected by a particular incident to play a part in repairing the harm and finding a positive way forward. This is part of a wider field called restorative practice.   

Restorative hub

The Restorative Hub is a brand new addition to the Criminal Justice System in County Durham and Darlington, supporting victims and offenders by giving them the chance to communicate in the aftermath of a crime, through a process called Restorative Justice. www.restorativehub.org.uk/

Support for offenders and ex-offenders

Durham and Tees Valley Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC)

Durham Tees Valley CRC is responsible for supervising around 5000 participants on either a Community Order or Prison Licence throughout the Durham and Teesside area.

Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC)

Northumbria Community Rehabilitation Company manages 3500 adult offenders at any one time, on community orders and on release from prison. They provide probation services to protect the public and reduce reoffending, supporting offenders in adopting a crime free lifestyle and reintegrating in to their local communities.

Open Gate – supporting women from custody to community

Open Gate is a charity providing mentoring and befriending support to women offenders leaving HM Prison & YOI Low Newton, Durham, and who are returning to the North East of England. The project aims to aid resettlement and help reduce the risks of re-offending, so building safer communities for all.


National Association of Ex-Offenders

User Voice

User Voice is a charity led by ex-offenders working to reduce re-offending.


Project renovare are here to help ex-offenders find stability and opportunity in life after prison. 


Support for prisoners' and offenders' families


Providing support to prisoners and their families in the north east.
Tel: 0191 3757278     Email:info@Nepacs.co.uk

Prisoners’ Families Helpline – Freephone 0808 808 2003.

The national prisoners’ family helpline offers advice and support on all aspects of arrest, going to court and prison.
Lines open:
Mon-Fri 9am – 8pm
Sat & Sunday 10am – 3pm


Pact is a national charity which supports people affected by imprisonment.

Partners of Prisoners (POPS)

POPS works in the North West/Yorkshire and Humberside areas supporting prisoners families.

Prison Chat

An online community giving support to those who have a loved one inside the British prison system.

Newbridge Foundation

New Bridge is a charity that supports volunteers to befriend people in prison by exchanging letters and visiting.


Victim support

Victims First Northumbria

Offer practical and emotional support to help victims of crime across Northumbria.
Freephone 0800 011 3116
Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm. Saturday: 9am - 5pm.

Victim support

Everyone reacts to crime differently, which is why the services offered by Victim Support are tailored to individual needs. There are here to help anyone affected by crime, not only those who experience it directly, but also their friends, family and any other people involved.


Harbour offer a range of different services to assist those affected by domestic abuse. They work across the North East of England with services in County Durham, Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Darlington, Redcar & Cleveland and North Tyneside. To find out what services they might offer in your area or for help finding an organisation near to you, call them on 03000 20 25 25 or visit www.myharbour.org.uk


ERASE stands for: To Educate and Raise Awareness of Sexual Exploitation.

ERASE involves a number of agencies in County Durham and Darlington working together to:
Promote safety, Increase awareness?, End abuse. 

The Meadows

The Meadows Sexual Assault Referral Centre aims to provide a sensitive and comprehensive service to residents of County Durham and Darlington who have experienced rape or sexual assault.  Their free services are available to both females and males.

My Sisters Place

My Sisters Place is an independent specialist ‘One Stop Shop’ for women aged 16 or over have experienced or are experiencing domestic violence. Established in 2002 we are committed to working in partnership to tackle domestic violence. Tel: 01642 241864