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Tag: Helpline

Our helpline opening hours are changing

Unlock volunteer shortlisted for helpline volunteer of the year award

We’re delighted that one of Unlock’s long-standing helpline volunteers, Simon, was shortlisted for the Helpline Partnership’s ‘Helpline Volunteer of the Year’ award.

On hearing the news, Simon said:

“I’m delighted to have been shortlisted for the Helpline Partnership ‘Volunteer of the year’ award. As much as this is recognition that the work I do for Unlock is truly appreciated, what I have given to Unlock is a moot point in comparison to what they have done for me.”

Commenting on the news, Debbie Sadler, Unlock’s advice manager and lead for our volunteer programme, said:

“Simon has volunteered for Unlock as a helpline advisor for over 5 years. His background in education makes him ideally placed to provide high-quality information, advice and support delivered in such a way that callers find it easy to understand and utilise.

“Back in 2014 Simon joined us for 2 days per week but, such is his commitment and passion for the charity that during a particularly busy period recently, he not only manned our helpline but helped us redecorate and move office. This commitment is even more extraordinary because for many years Simon has suffered from an anxiety disorder which means that it’s frequently a struggle for him to leave his own home.

“I can’t thank Simon enough for everything he has done and continues to do for Unlock and him being shortlisted for volunteer of the year goes to show how he’ll continue to be one in a million to us”

We’d like to congratulate the eventual winner of the award, Deborah Gascoyne from Myeloma UK.

At the same event, Unlock came away with a ‘Star member’ award, in recognition of Unlock “going the extra mile to help others”, saying that we were “a shining example of what it means to be a Helpline Partnership member.”

More information

  1. You can find out more about our volunteer programme.
  2. The winners of the Helpline Awards are on the Helplines Partnership website.

We’re moving

We are moving offices, which means that our Helpline will be unable to respond to landline telephone enquiries on Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th of January 2014.

On these days, if you are looking for advice, please call us using our Helpline mobile number (07824 113848). Alternatively, please email us at or complete our online form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Launch of

Today, we’re announcing the launch of, our brand new online Information Hub. It aims to be the country’s most comprehensive source of online self-help information on wide range of issues that criminal convictions can affect.

The site builds on the information we’ve had on our main website for a number of years. We’ve wanted to establish a self-help information site specifically for people with convictions. We’re also working on a new main website for the charity, and this will be launched shortly. You may also notice that we’ve also created a new ‘look’, which is shown in our new logo on this site.

Through the Hub, people with convictions will now have access to easy-to-use information that is specifically designed for them. Given the way that we work as a charity, we believe it is critically important that individuals, and those that work with them, have access to accurate, reliable, up to date information on issues that affect them because of their convictions. This will be backed up by our confidential peer advice helpline.

Hopefully, the site is much more user friendly and easier to navigate. For those who want to familiarise themselves with the site, please see the user guide.

In short, the Hub is made up of three main areas;

Knowledge base

This section is the main part of the site. The Knowledge Base contains details information, advice and experiences relating to specific areas of life that a criminal conviction can impact on. It is broken down into different sections.

Frequently asked questions

This section is regularly updated and is designed to provide specific advice to specific situations, based on the kinds of questions that we receive from people who have used the Hub but have further questions about their own situation.

Latest updates

This section provides a summary of the latest updates to the site. You can also sign up to receive updates by email so that you are sent the details of the updates as and when they happen.


We hope you like the site. Now that it’s been launched, we’re trying to get as much feedback as possible, so that we can continue to develop and improve it. Please let us know what you like, what you don’t like, and what you think can be improved. Click to leave your feedback.

Our Helpline is now open 5 days a week

As a result of increased staff and voluntary resources available to our helpline, we’ve now been able to re-open our Helpline 5 days a week (it had previously been restricted to 2 days a week).

As always, as a small charity, it may not always be possible for us to answer your call immediately, as we may be dealing with other enquiries. You can always leave a message and we’ll call you back as soon as possible.

Generally, our open hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

If you would like to contact our helpline, our contact details are here.

We want to make sure that our website is as helpful as possible.

Letting us know if you easily found what you were looking for or not enables us to continue to improve our service for you and others.

Was it easy to find what you were looking for?

Thank you for your feedback.

12 million people have criminal records in the UK. We need your help to help them.

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