Chrissie has been a trustee of Prisoners Abroad for the last eight years, which makes her our longest-serving board member. For National Volunteers' Week 2023, she wrote a little bit about her role as a volunteer and what drew her to the position.

Being a Trustee for Prisoners Abroad is so rewarding and enjoyable. I have met so many people that I would not ordinarily have encountered in my day-to-day life; everyone I have met on my journey have been so engaged about the work we do at Prisoners Abroad.

I have known about Prisoners Abroad for a very long time and when I was asked to be a Trustee I jumped at the chance. I wanted to make a difference and I knew I could do that by getting more involved and bringing my experiences to help others. It is a cause that I am very passionate about and so close to my heart.

When you become a Trustee, you have an induction to meet the staff and see what happens in each team. It really does give you an insight into the positive work that Prisoners Abroad do. I learnt so much at that induction and was utterly amazed with the staff and what they achieved with such a small team.

After the induction, you get a buddy who is also a Trustee and they guide you through the process -  a great idea that gives you a bit of confidence to attend Board Meetings and Leadership days.  These are such great forums for us to talk freely and openly about how we can improve the service and this has impacted on so many lives for the better.

Trustees come from all walks of life and being a Trustee can help you meet new people, change your community for the better, learn new skills, or use your existing skills in a new context. 

At its heart, being a Trustee puts you at the centre of the action for the organisation you are involved in. The more effective the Board of Trustees, the greater difference you and your organisation will make.  At Prisoners Abroad, we have a fantastic Board and really great Chair to guide us through everything.

Whilst at Prisoners Abroad, I have met so many people who have used our service and heard their remarkable stories, which are so heart-warming, and the fact that Prisoners Abroad have changes their lives is amazing.

I would encourage others to make that step and find out about Prisoners Abroad; we are such a brilliant charity, non-judgemental and we really do care. Prisoners Abroad make an impact on every-day lives and it really is an honour to be a Trustee.

I believe that everyone deserves a second chance and with the help and support of Prisoners Abroad it is proven over and over again that this can happen.

Being offered a lifeline can change everything. 

Prisoners Abroad translates human rights law into practical life-saving actions by providing prisoners access to vitamins and essential food, emergency medical care, freepost envelopes to keep in touch with home and books and magazines to help sustain mental health.

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