Fine Cell Work is a charity and social enterprise that teaches prisoners and ex-prisoners to make beautiful handmade products. The making and selling of high quality needlework boosts their self-worth, instils self discipline and fosters hope. 

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, we run our Open the Gate programme which provides work experience, formal training and employment to ex-prisoners. 

“Fine Cell Work has impacted my life in prison beyond measure. It has been a financial crutch - sending my family money and gifts would be impossible without earnings from my stitching. I spend my time productively making something that means a difference for good in the world and I take pride in completing projects.”
Andrew, Fine Cell Work stitcher


With many thanks to Quite Frankly Productions for creating this incredible Fine Cell Work animation.


In 2021, we engaged with 355 prisoners across 29 prisons.

Approximately 92% of our stitchers are in the male prison estate.

Since Fine Cell Work began in 1997, we have worked with over 8,000 prisoners. They complete work both in-cell and in our two prison workshops.

Last year, our stitchers made nearly 4,500 products in prison cells across the country, stitching for approximately 100,000 hours.

It takes on average 5 months to complete a cushion (from producing a stitching kit to a finished product).

Our workforce spend an average of 24 hours each week stitching.

An average cushion consists of 40,000 stitches.

We were supported by 110 volunteers, across the whole programme last year, including prison, events and pop-up shop volunteers. In 2017 they were finalists for the Volunteer Team of the Year at the Third Sector awards.

Last year we worked with nearly 30 lone stitchers who together have stitched over 900 products including 60 commissions.

Since it’s launch in 2014, we have sold over 500 of our best-selling pineapple cushions and almost 1,700 turkey Christmas decorations!