About Us

Who we are & what we do
Get involved
Our mission, vision & values
Our team

 

Who we are and what we do

Fine Cell Work enables prisoners to build fulfilling and crime-free lives by training them to do high-quality, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. They can also learn sewing machine and textile production skills in our prison based workshops. Our aim is to allow them to finish their sentences with work skills, money earned and saved, and the self-belief to not re-offend.

We also guide them towards training and support on release. At the Fine Works Hub, a London-based workshop where we provide work experience, formal training and employment. At the Clothworkers Studio, apprentices are able to complete textile qualifications; work with an employment mentor; gain employment support; and take up opportunities to take up product manufacture and design, as well as sales and stock management. 

Currently working in 32 British prisons, and engaging with over 500 prisoners each year, Fine Cell Work addresses key issues affecting prisoners’ offending behaviours: establishment and reinforcement of work skills, building relationships, and mental resilience.

Prisoners are taught by experienced volunteers and staff to work in their cells and in prison workshops. Having the opportunity to work independently helps them to regain control of their lives and allows them to maintain dignity. Prisoners gain a sense of connection to the world outside prison through the sale of their work, which you can buy through our shop. It also helps them establish a work ethic, and allows them to send money to their families or save for their release.

Fine Cell Work has the largest workforce of hand-stitchers in Europe – 290 at any one time, and counting. Last year 4,870 products were made in prisons across the UK. Prisoners spend an average of 24 hours a week crafting finely embroidered cushions, patchwork quilts, a range of contemporary bags and giftware in their cells.

Produced both in-cell and in-prison workshops, this intricate, beautiful work is supported by esteemed artists and designers including Pentreath and Hall, Kit Kemp, Cornelia Parker, Ai Weiwei and Melissa Wyndham.

 

Get involved

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You can donate easily online via our page on Virgin Money Giving. You can make a one off donation or regular payments there (and they automatically reclaim Gift Aid from the Government for us, which boosts your donation by an extra 25% for free). Click to make a donation.

You can also donate by cheque, made payable to Fine Cell Work. Please also print out and complete a Gift Aid declaration form and send that with your cheque. Reclaiming Gift Aid from the government adds 25% to your donation for no extra cost. Please send your cheque and Gift Aid form to: Charlotte Morley, Fine Cell Work, 14 Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria, London. SW1W 0QP.

Volunteer with us

At the heart of Fine Cell Work are over 200 volunteers, helping production at our London offices, helping sell the beautiful products prisoners make at events across the UK and teaching needlework in prisons.

We are always on the lookout for enthusiastic volunteers to help us sell our beautiful products at events across the UK. If you would like to get involved at an event - or even host an event yourself! - complete the application form or contact volunteer@finecellwork.co.uk for further info.

Our London-based Production team also relies on volunteer support. If you have experience of working with textiles and would like to help the Production team to prepare kits for prisoners and assist with fabric cutting, please complete the application form.

Please note the offices are unfortunately not wheelchair accessible and there is no parking available. We are able to reimburse travel expenses. 

Our Open the Gate programme is dedicated to supporting ex-prisoners find further training and employment in the textiles industry. As part of the package of support we offer them, we match them to a suitable mentor who can provide practical career and development support. If this sounds like you, apply today. Please note that we are currently only looking for London-based mentors.

At the moment, we are not actively looking for new volunteers to work in prisons. Please check back at a future date for new opportunities.

Fine Cell Work’s mission is to train prisoners in creative, commercial craftwork so they re-enter society with the self-belief and independence to lead fulfilling and crime-free lives.

Our vision is to expand the role of commercial craftwork throughout the UK prison system in order to create training, employment and rehabilitation for greater numbers of offenders. We aim to become the country's "go-to" site for needlework and soft furnishings, selling high quality, handmade British goods to the public and interior designers.

Our Values

  • Rebuilding lives
  • Creating opportunities
  • Contributing to society
  • Striving for excellence
  • Inclusive, creative and enterprising

      Our team

      Victoria Gillies
      Managing Director
      victoria@finecellwork.co.uk

       

      Katy Emck OBE
      Founding Director
      katy@finecellwork.co.uk

      Jenni Parker
      Head of Volunteers and Programmes
      volunteer@finecellwork.co.uk

      Wendy Cramer
      Workshops and Training Manager
      workshops@finecellwork.co.uk

      Elena Hall

      Design and Commissions Manager
      commissions@finecellwork.co.uk

      Jennie Ingham
      Production Manager
      production@finecellwork.co.uk

      Sophie Jordan

      Sales and Office Manager 
      sales@finecellwork.co.uk

      Katie Steingold
      Events and Communications Manager
      For events - events@finecellwork.co.uk
      For press enquiries - communications@finecellwork.co.uk

      Kate Paton-King
      Commissions and New Product Specialist
      commissions@finecellwork.co.uk

      Jordanne Cliffe
      Workshop Supervisor
      workshops@finecellwork.co.uk

      Dawn Miller
      Apprentice Support Officer
      apprentices@finecellwork.co.uk

      Rosie Greenfield
      Volunteer and Programmes Coordinator
      volunteer@finecellwork.co.uk

      Lydia Flynn
      Sales & Marketing Coordinator
      sales@finecellwork.co.uk

      Charlotte Morley
      Fundraising & Events Coordinator
      events@finecellwork.co.uk

      Sophie Rutherford
      Production Coordinator
      Production@finecellwork.co.uk

      Our Trustees

      Sophie Kingsley - Chair
      Edward Henry - Vice-Chair
      Andrew Murray - Treasurer
      Tabby Elwes
      Chris Grafham
      Kit Kemp MBE
      Miranda Kendall
      Cath Kidston MBE
      Cathy Robinson
      Emma Soames
      Caroline Wilkinson

      Our Patrons

      Libby Purves OBE
      Kaffe Fassett
      Gen the Lord Ramsbotham, GCB, CBE
      Gavin Turk
      The Right Honourable Lady Justice Anne Rafferty DBE PC
      Dame Judi Dench CH DBE FRSA