A group of female volunteers standing against a wall

Through the Gate Mentoring

We offer mentoring and practical support for those who are in prison in the South and are returning to live in Dorset and Hampshire. Staff will visit people in prison to assess their needs around housing, education training and employment, finance and debt, mental and physical health, substance misuse, families and children as well as attitudes, thinking and behaviour. The staff will then co-produce an action plan for release with the client. To refer someone to us please contact the correct member of staff.


Our volunteer mentors and outreach workers help the person successfully re-integrate into society, building safer and stronger local communities for everyone. Footprints takes referrals from any prison, but actively visits clients in HMP Portland, HMP Guys Marsh, HMP Channings Wood, (all in Dorset and Devon), HMP Winchester, Hampshire, We also support women from HMP Bronzefield (Middlesex), Eastwood Park (Gloucestershire) and Send (Surrey) as well as Elizabeth Fry Approved Premises  (Berkshire).


On the day of release from prison, we will meet people at the gate, transport them to their local area and ensure their immediate needs are met, e.g. engaging them with foodbanks, helping them attend meetings with probation, registering them with a GP or helping them initiate benefit claims.

I just wanted to say thank you to Footprints for helping me since my release. Your collection service from prison made my life so my easier that day. Also the help and support you have given has helped me to continue on the right path and maintain abstinence

Community Mentoring

In the community, mentors will typically meet with a client once a week, with additional phone support between meetings, to offer on-going motivational support and engage clients with relevant agencies where they can obtain the specialist support they need. Our support continues for as long as is required.

Volunteer for us

Support for women

In line with the Government’s 2018 Female Offender Strategy, we provide gender specific support for women. This includes a female mentoring scheme supporting women returning to our area from HMP Bronzefield (Middlesex), HMP Send (Surrey) and HMP Eastwood Park (Gloucestershire). Women are visited by a specialist female member of staff who will assess their needs as above, but additionally will add support around domestic violence, sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. Women are matched to female mentors who continue the gender specific support in the community.


We can offer women who have been affected by trauma or have specific needs a place on an equine therapy course provided by Tower House Horses.