Prisoners Abroad has come second for the London Homelessness Awards 2017, and have been awarded the second prize of £20,000.

Theresa Gilson, Prisoners Abroad’s Service Delivery Manager talks about winning second place and what the fantastic award money will go towards: “we were absolutely delighted to win 2nd prize at the LHA awards and to be considered alongside some amazing projects. Big congratulations to Network Homes & New Horizon Youth Centre: Project Vista (1st Place) and Southwark Council’s Homelessness Trailblazer Pilot (3rd place) as well as those who were commended by the panel. The prize money will help support those who would be facing homelessness and destitution without our service, and the recognition will be a huge help in highlighting the work we do overseas as well. Finally a huge thank you to our service users who appeared in the film, attended the event and spoke so movingly and frankly about their experiences."

After signing up with Prisoners Abroad when she was incarcerated in the US, Karen was helped by the Prisoners Abroad Resettlement Service when she was back in the UK. She talks of the support she received: “They helped me apply for my national insurance number, get on benefits, sign up with Crisis and get into my own flat. I wouldn’t have known where to start if it wasn’t for them. Without them, I would be homeless, without a clue of how to fix it. To be in a compassionate, warm, giving place, to be treated with respect and dignity, those are things that make Prisoners Abroad unique. They work as one unit… it’s a beautiful, rare thing.”

Prisoners Abroad Resettlement Service

We provide practical and emotional support to British citizens imprisoned overseas, continuing this support after release and return to the UK – usually to London. For those without family or friends, homelessness and destitution is a high risk.

On arrival, our Resettlement team ensure every person has temporary, short term accommodation; a daily food allowance until benefits are secured; enough clothing, toiletries and other essential items; a travel card and basic mobile phone with credit to maintain contact with our office; and access to medical treatment through a local health centre for those with urgent physical and mental health problems.

In the medium term, our team help secure permanent accommodation for their clients and support them to find employment or training – important steps towards stability, security and successful integration. The full range of our services, both abroad and in the UK, help to sustain people through to their release and after their return. By promoting good health, well-being and a positive outlook, we mitigate the effects of harsh prison conditions, including the deterioration of physical and mental health.

We are the only organisation supporting the immediate and future needs of these individuals including their health, wellbeing, training and employment prospects.

More details of the other winning projects and the highly commended projects can be found on the London Homelessness Awards website  

The full press release.