There are nearly 4,000 women in prison, and around one-third of women prisoners lose their homes, and often their possessions, whilst in prison.
A Prisons Inspectorate survey found that 38% of women in prison did not have accommodation arranged on release.
48% of women are reconvicted within one year of leaving prison and many say homelessness was a factor.
It seems to us that if women leave prison with no safe housing and no help finding work they are more likely to go back to their old lifestyles and re-offending becomes a very real possibility.
We want to change that. It has always been a part of our long-term vision as a charity to set up accommodation for women being released from prison. Our aim is to empower women to be all that God has made them to be through our programmes and by offering them ongoing support upon their release.
We aim to have up to 12 women staying with us for a period of around 4 months to 2 years. We will take women of all faiths and none, and offer life skills programmes and will help them to find good, safe housing, and work - all in an environment of love, care and support.
We would invite you to join us as we pray for:
God’s wisdom for this new venture
A suitable building
Funds to start the project and keep it running
Great staff that share our vision.
If you are as excited as we are and would like one of the ID team to come and talk at your church or group about our project then please visit our CONTACT US page.
If you would like to partner with us financially then please visit our SUPPORT US page.
Meet the Team behind Grace House
- Tracy Sickel-
Director of Imago Dei Prison Ministry
I became a Christian when I was a teenager and have served in many varying roles within the Church over the years as well as having been a Street Pastor in the community for eight years. I have worked for various different companies and organisations in administrative roles over the years but I finally found my calling working as a prison chaplain and have worked in various different prisons for the past eight years.
I now work in three women’s prisons, delivering Bible studies, giving pastoral support and prayer, taking some Sunday services and delivering all the various courses that ID provides.
I have a passion to see women from all walks of life, learn their true value and identity and to live out their unique purpose which is why I set up Imago Dei Prison Ministry. My desire is to see people set free from life-controlling issues that have contributed to their offending behaviours and see them become healed, whole and content with their lives. This needs to extend beyond the prison gates. I believe it is so important that we work with people in prison but I also know that they need additional practical help and support as well as emotional and spiritual help to reintegrate back into society upon their release. I want ID to be able to offer that ongoing help and support to those who want to improve their opportunities and give themselves the best chance of living in freedom.
- Cathy Johnson -
I am an Anglican vicar’s daughter and spent a lot of time in my youth travelling the world as cabin crew. I came to Christ running a bar in Turkey and have since then run my own catering business for a number of years.
I worked in Russia for 6 years to serve in a drug rehabilitation centre, going on to found and direct a new centre, which among other things, involved developing culturally appropriate safeguarding policies and protocols in a region where these were under-developed.
I have also worked at a supported housing project in for people with dual diagnosis - mental health and addictions - a number of our residents were prison leavers.
I am passionate and committed to seeing faith-based organisations equipped to lead the way in society as they seek to safeguard and protect their most vulnerable people.
- Steve Puttock -
I was excited to be offered the opportunity to help grow ID’s ministry into new ‘move on’ accommodation for ladies leaving prison. I believe securing a safe and stable ‘home’ to be a crucial element in enabling our ladies to make positive choices, re-learn independent living skills and face the inevitable challenges and obstacles that life will present them - but with new confidence, in a loving supportive Christian environment.
I am a committed Christian with experience in Church leadership dating back to the 1980s. In recent years, my focus has been leading a Christian Charity.
I am especially interested in seeing clients (and staff) discover and realise their God-given potential, achieve fresh goals and aspire to new things in life. I hope to be able to contribute to realising Tracy and her team’s vision for ID and feel privileged to work with them as ID steps out in faith to achieve crucial Kingdom outcomes.
- Sally Treloar -
I have been part of the ID team for nearly a year now and have loved it. It’s great when your work doesn’t feel like work!
I have done various jobs in my lifetime from School Secretary to Interior Designer. I am an entrepreneur at heart and love to partner with God in new and exciting ventures such as Grace House.
In my previous role within a prison chaplaincy I supported women of all faiths and none as they lived and worked in the prison. I gained invaluable experience in operating in a multi faith environment in a structured and often difficult environment.
The need for accommodation for women coming out of prison is great and working on this project is an exciting privilege.