Director of Programmes - Full Time, based in Battersea, London

Fine Cell Work (FCW) is looking for a Director of Programmes with leadership experience in developing and delivering programmes.  This is a critical role on our Senior Management Team, and we are especially keen to hear from those with experience in working in prison.

Our Purpose

Fine Cell Work is a rehabilitation charity and social enterprise that teaches prisoners and prison-leavers 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 for our stitchers 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 Cell Works Hub in Battersea, we run our Open the Gate programme which provides work experience, formal training and employment to prison-leavers. 

The Role 

This is a critical role on Fine Cell Work’s Management Team.  You would be responsible for:

  • The overall development and delivery of Fine Cell Work programmes in prisons, our Battersea workshop and the Open the Gate (OTG) post-release programme.
  • Leading the Programmes Team (currently 4 FTE), providing strategic direction, management, and development to those responsible for prison programme, Open the Gate, and volunteer recruitment and engagement, as well as the Battersea workshop manager.
  • Working with the Executive Director, support the delivery of our 5 year business plan.
  • Embedding appropriate levels of evaluation, audit and process to support in-prison and post-release programme productivity, quality control, training, compliance and outcomes.
  • In-prison programme
    • Oversee the delivery of our prisoner training programmes
    • Ensure we have effective SLAs in place with prisons and that the safety of volunteers, stitchers, staff and FCW is maintained.
    • Identify and leverage best practices in delivering social enterprise in prison.
  • Post-release programme (Open the Gate)
    • Develop strong relationships and promote Open the Gate with probation, community rehabilitation and other 3rd sector organizations working with prisons leavers to build recruitment onto this post-release programme.
    • Drive the move-on strategy for apprentices including mentoring and training workshops.
    • Manage and sign off the risk assessments for OTG recruits
  • Volunteers
    • Oversee volunteer recruitment, training and engagement, ensuring that our volunteers are well managed and supported and that we comply with any legal responsibilities for working with volunteers.
    • Review and oversee the development and delivery of policies, training and guidance materials for volunteers.
  • Reviewing and upholding safeguarding, including delivery of safeguarding training, policies and procedures for staff, volunteers, and prison-leavers.
  • Ensuring that the outcomes of the Open College Network accredited training meets both targets and funding requirements for cell groups and workshops, and that new modules are developed, registered and implemented.
  • Such other duties as required by the charity from time to time.

The Person

We are a vibrant, energetic group of people who are passionate about our mission and care deeply about providing a working environment that is inclusive and supportive. 

We are looking for someone with the following experiences and qualities:

  • Managing and delivering programmes ideally in prison, including on-going programme evaluation and improvement
  • Influencing and negotiating with a wide variety of stakeholders
  • In-service development, stakeholder analysis and business planning
  • Managing and establishing controls for risk
  • The confidence, dedication and charisma to lead, engage and motivate a team, and equally the ability to work as part of a team
  • The flexibility to work in a charity with a national reach and a small team

Because of the nature of our work, any of the following would be desirable:

  • Experience working with vulnerable adults, volunteers, and/or prisoners
  • Previous role at a social enterprise
  • Knowledge of the criminal justice and/or prison system
  • Interest in needlework and textiles
  • Experience with writing and implementing safeguarding procedures

This role is full time and based in our offices in Battersea, South London. Whilst we offer a supportive and flexible working environment, the successful candidate will need to be in the office full time (with occasional working from home).

Reports to: Executive Director

Direct Reports: 4

Holiday: 27 days annual leave p.a. plus bank holidays

Salary:  up to £55,000 dependant on experience

To apply please submit a covering letter and CV demonstrating how you meet the requirements of the role to Please note, applications submitted without a covering letter will not be considered.


Please Note: Application deadline is 5pm on 5 January 2024 for first interviews the following week.