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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.

Engagement & Support Officer


Fine Cell Work are looking for an exceptionally supportive and non-judgemental individual to act as the first point of contact and underpin all aspects of Fine Cell Work's post-prison programme, Open The Gate (OTG).


Beyond skills for employment, OTG offers a range of support to prison-leavers, who we refer to as Apprentices. The Engagement Support Officer will be responsible for establishing sustainable referral pathways with external partners, recruiting OTG Apprentices in line with organisational strategy, and preparing individual risk assessments and tailored support plans. They will also be responsible for the development of OTG’s remote support scheme and for supporting volunteer employment mentors alongside the Volunteer and Programmes Manager.


The role


As well as offering person-centred support and helping to shape our post-release programmes, you would be responsible for:


  • Presenting and promoting Open the Gate among external partners including HMP resettlement teams, probation services, approved premises and other organisations supporting prison-leavers on their resettlement journey.
  • Assisting with the development of risk management plans including information gathering, dissemination, and regular review.
  • Providing day to day practical, emotional, and sign-posting support to a caseload of adult Apprentices engaging with Open the Gate and providing ad hoc support to past Apprentices when required.
  • Action planning and setting out individual objectives with all Apprentices, supporting them to achieve work-ready outcomes in an agreed period.
  • Working with the team to research and liaise with offender support and employment agencies beyond FCW, signposting Apprentices and supporting mentors with appropriate signposting and referrals to partner agencies.
  • Working with the wider team at FCW to develop and coordinate a series of employability and creative wellbeing workshops for Apprentices.
  • Ensuring timely, accurate, and safe recording of all information and personal data.
  • Responding to safeguarding concerns in line with FCW policy and procedure.
  • Providing remote support via telephone and online to FCW experienced prison-leavers who do not live in London and the Southeast.
  • Supporting the Volunteer and Programmes Manager with delivering the Service User Involvement Strategy and championing service user involvement across the organisation more broadly.
  • Supporting the Volunteer and Programmes Manager to recruit and deliver training to mentors and other volunteers in roles supporting OTG Apprentices.
  • Working with the Volunteer and Programmes Manager to develop and enhance the OTG Mentor Offer including as the first point of contact for Mentors pre- and post- mentoring sessions. 
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.




  • Significant experience working with vulnerable adults in contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Safeguarding and risk-management.
  • Case management and experience ensuring all case records are clear and up to date.
  • Skilled at building rapport and maintaining boundaried relationships.
  • Excellent organisational skills and an ability to manage competing priorities.
  • Experience in monitoring, evaluation, and working to targets.



  • Up to date knowledge of housing support, benefits system and other challenges facing people post-release.
  • Experience of IT systems including Salesforce or other database management platform.
  • Compassionate, empathetic, and adaptable.
  • Experience of working with volunteers.
  • A willingness to seek support when needed and pursue professional development opportunities.

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: Director of Programmes.

Holiday: 25 days annual leave p.a. plus bank holidays

Salary:  £27,000 - £29,000, dependant on experience.


How to apply


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


Please note: The application deadline is 9am on Monday 10th June. We will contact successful applicants as when we receive their application in order to fill interview slots as soon as possible, so early applications are strongly advised. First interviews will take place w/c 10th June.  

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At Fine Cell Work, we know diversity fosters creativity and innovation. We are committed to equality of opportunity, to being fair and inclusive, and to being a place where all belong. We therefore particularly encourage applications from candidates who are likely to be underrepresented in FCW’s workforce. These include applicants from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, people with disabilities, LGBTQI+, and male identifying applicants as these are currently under-represented in our volunteers groups.