About Us

Based on a model established by the National Community Chaplaincy Association, CCN employs a small staff team to recruit, train and support volunteer mentors to assist people leaving prison to resettle after custody and reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

We are based at the warm and welcoming St Stephen’s Church café in Norwich city centre and work with anyone aged 18+ who is leaving prison to live anywhere in Norfolk. We welcome people of all faiths or none.

On the day of release, we offer to meet each client at the gate and accompany them to appointments. This is followed by regular meetings to discuss progress and work through any challenges. Mentors signpost and accompany clients to access support with applying for benefits, addressing addictions, relationships and health issues, finding opportunities for voluntary positions, positive activities, training, education or work. Mentors are available to listen.

Contact us to discuss a referral or send the referral form via our secure email.  Please note secure email will only receive messages from other secure emails.

How it works – the client journey

Engaging with CCN is voluntary, we are not part of the prison or probation service. Our work is not time limited. We receive self-referrals and referrals from professionals. We visit people in prison (clients) to explain what we can offer. Once assessed and accepted as a CCN client, a mentor may meet the client several times prior to release to build a relationship, set goals and identify the support needed. 

Our team

Mel Wheeler – Manager

Mel joined CCN in 2019. She brings 16 years’ experience in supporting families and vulnerable young people affected by substance misuse in Norfolk and is a Director a non-profit organisation, working in the outdoors with those facing multiple life challenges.

The Manager’s role is to meet and select clients in the relevant prisons, match them to volunteer mentors and oversee the mentoring process.

Abby Erwin – Mentor Co-ordinator

Abby joined CCN in 2021.  She has 10 years’ experience in the public and voluntary sector in Norwich, specialising in managing volunteers.

The Mentor Coordinator recruits, trains, and provides ongoing support to CCN’s team of volunteer mentors.

Claire Gunn – Development and Operations Administrator

I have been working for CCN since October 2023 and am enjoying working with the staff team and trustees and getting to know the mentors and clients.

My background is in administration and finance, and I have used these skills over the years working for the NHS, other charities and as a volunteer at church.

I am married and have two adult sons.  We have a dog who I enjoy walking and jogging with, and I also enjoy travelling and reading.

Jack Manzi

Jack joined the CCN in 2024, after completing a PhD program in philosophy. He has five years of experience working with prisoners as a university educator and pastoral supervisor. He is an experienced coordinator, having led and trained teams of volunteers for several different charitable organisations.

Our Mentors

The heart of the CCN project is the recruitment, training and support of Volunteer Mentors who work closely with prison leavers, offering non-judgemental support, advocacy and signposting. See ‘Get Involved’ to join our team.


Community Chaplaincy Norfolk (CCN) is a registered charity (number 1180579). We operate within the guidelines laid down by the Charity Commission for England and Wales.

Our Board of Trustees are legally responsible for ensuring that CCN complies with charity law and meets six times a year to guide the direction of the charity, and receive and discuss reports from the staff team.

Contact us to enquire about joining the Board.