Get Involved

If you identify as LGBTQ+ and are interested in becoming a penpal as part of the Bent Bars Project, we ask you to read our penpal guidelines. A PDF version is also available.
Penpal Guidelines
In particular, if either of these apply to you, please consider the following:  


You can then complete and submit our outside penpal form.

Please note: we are experiencing an issue in that the application form is currently not available on mobile. Please make sure you are viewing this page on a desktop. Thank you!
Apply to be a penpal
If you are unable to fill in this form and require a paper copy, please get in touch.

You do not require any particular experience to become a penpal. The main criteria is that you identify as LGBTQ+ (or along those lines) and that you make a commitment to write regularly (i.e. at least once per month). An ideal penpal is someone who is reliable, open-minded and non-judgmental.

Normally, we hold monthly drop-in meetings to introduce new people to the project and to provide a supportive social space to discuss any issues that come up for existing penpals. However, due to Covid-19 we are not currently running these sessions. We hope to resume them as soon as it is safe to do so. Check our website 'Events' page for details.

If you have any questions about being a penpal or want more information, don't hesitate to get in touch.

You can also check out our Frequently Asked Questions page.


If you’d like to be involved in the work we do, but don’t feel able to be a penpal, there are lots of other ways to be involved.

Info for prisoners

If you are a prisoner and would like a penpal through Bent Bars or would like more information about the project, please write to us directly at the address below. We will respond with a discrete letter, as we aim always to respect your privacy and confidentiality.

Bent Bars Project
PO Box 66754
London, WC1A 9BF

If you are not permitted to write to a PO box, we can provide an alternative address.

For friends, partners and family members of prisoners:

If you know someone inside prison who might benefit from the Bent Bars Project, please encourage them to contact us directly at the postal address above. For reasons of safety and confidentiality, we prefer to respond to direct requests from prisoners.  But if you have any general questions about the project or would like more information, please don't hesitate to get in touch. We are always happy to answer any questions you have.  If you are looking for resources to send to someone inside prison, please see our Resources page.