Clean Break is proud to announce the inaugural Helen Pringle Award, an annual award in memory of our dearest friend and colleague, Helen Pringle, who died three years ago on May 14 at the age of 50, after living with cancer for a number of years.
Helen worked for Clean Break as Head of Finance and Senior Producer, from September 2001 until three weeks before her death in 2017. Helen’s own values, her commitment to social justice and to women’s empowerment and her love of theatre were strongly aligned with Clean Break’s company values. Her contribution to the organisation over the decade and a half she worked here helped lay the foundation for our new business model and is ever present as we weather the current storm of COVID19, particularly her pragmatism, optimism and belief in working together which live with us day to day. We have long since intended to honour her life, commitment and passion with an award, and are now delighted to do so, to keep her legacy alive.
As well as being a massive theatre lover, Helen believed profoundly in the need for change in the industry – to ensure that women with a criminal record, women facing discrimination, women living in poverty, and women with mental health needs or in recovery from addiction had opportunities to become part of the industry themselves. It is with this in mind that the Helen Pringle Award will be open to Clean Break Members past and present on an annual basis offering a £1,000 bursary to support a woman in her Further /Higher Education studies in a related field, and a mentorship by one of Clean Break’s artistic community.
The Award will be open for applications at the end of May and the successful candidate will be announced in early July.
Clean Break and It’s Not Your Birthday But… have joined together to launch Write 2 Connect, a letter writing project connecting women through the prison walls with women in the community.
There are currently 3,424 women in prison (as of 24 April 2020), many of whom are locked in their cells for 23 hours a day and whose visits, which can be a vital lifeline, have been suspended to stem the spread of the virus. This project has been devised in response to Covid19, and our desire to reach out to some of the most vulnerable in our society at this time.
For two weeks, women from every corner of the UK and from all walks of life sent letters with words of inspiration, hope and solidarity to women in prison. The letters were about finding comfort in words and nature, things that inspired them and words of connection and solidarity. They all shared something personal and offered hope--a gift which everyone can afford, and which can remind us in difficult moments like the one we currently face, that we are connected, we are part of a wider community and we are valued.
On Monday 18 May over 200 letters were delivered to HMP Downview. Currently, the women in HMP Downview are writing their own letters in response which will be passed on to women accessing services at women's centres. These letters will be collected and dispersed at the beginning of June.
If you would like read some of the letters from the project please click on this link
We are searching for an exceptional woman to serve as Chair of our Board of Trustees, as current Chair Kim Evans OBE steps down at the end of her tenure later this year.
Róisín McBrinn, Joint Artistic Director commented:
“We wholeheartedly thank Kim Evans for being a phenomenal chair for the past seven years. Clean Break has gone through huge and exciting changes over the past few years and Kim has been exceptionally supportive, insightful and dedicated. We will miss her. We look forward to finding a pioneering woman leader as our new chair who holds our commitment to ground-breaking theatre and changing women’s lives close to her heart and work.”
Our board is currently made up of twelve women with varied professional and personal experience from across theatre and the arts, criminal justice, the women’s sector and private finance.
Tanya Tracey, current Trustee commented:
“Clean Break’s Board is such an empowering group. The best part is being able to share ideas, build relationships with the staff and Members, and see the work Clean Break makes knowing that you’ve been part of making it happen. I’d say the most important thing about being a Trustee is recognising the strengths we all have as women individually to steer the organisation whilst having different backgrounds and expertise.”
The deadline for applications is Monday 6 April, with interviews to be led by a panel of Trustees.
Passionate about theatre and criminal justice interventions? Have some time to spare? We want you to join our team at Clean Break!
We are seeking volunteers in a range of areas – from research to gardening – to help us out in our Kentish Town base.
Grab your chance to build skills in a welcoming environment and contribute to exciting work that aims to make a positive change in the lives of women with experience of the criminal justice system.
We have opportunities to volunteer right across Clean Break. If you have an expert skill you’d like to share, or even just think you’d make a fun team member, then we have a space for you.
Are you a keen researcher? You could be working on our 40th Anniversary Heritage project, sorting through archival materials and helping staging our exhibition in Autumn 2020.
Prefer the great outdoors? We’re looking for someone to help with the upkeep of our garden, so it can be enjoyed by everyone.
Want to build your administrative skills across fundraising, marketing and participation support? We’re looking for someone to help our Development Team.
If you’d like to find out more about volunteering for Clean Break email Samantha McNeil, our Volunteer Coordinator, at email@example.com or call 020 7482 8600.
We're looking for a Health and Wellbeing Volunteer to support the group coordinator in running a health and wellbeing group for women participating in our programme. Issues covered include self-care, building self-esteem and confidence and education around mental health issues and trauma.
Your tasks will include:
The ideal candidate would have Some experience of working with vulnerable women, group work 1:1 therapeutic experience, or training of any kind with psychological/therapeutic input.
If you'd like to join the team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org attaching your CV and stating your availability.
Are you a performer aged 17 – 30?
Do you want to develop your performance skills and create your own work?
Do you have experience of the criminal justice system?
If this describes you, then our Young Artists Development Programme could be the opportunity you’ve been looking for.
This specialist programme is for young women aged 17 – 30 who have experience of, or who are on the fringes of the Criminal Justice System and want to develop their acting skills and gain an insight into the creative industry. The programme takes place over a year focusing on nurturing and supporting new talent and giving a platform to underrepresented artists, with a view to creating original work.
Following an extremely successful programme last year we are extremely excited to invite six more young women to join Clean Break and learn from some of the best female artists in the theatre industry. During a nine-month intensive programme you will participate in a variety of masterclasses, perform in a new play that raises issues of young women and incarceration and work on an independent project creating your own show, all while being mentored by industry professionals. A theatre and book allowance are also provided to supplement your professional development.
Clean Break is committed to dismantling barriers to engagement in the arts and therefore this programme is free of charge. In addition, lunch and travel expenses are covered. All we ask is that you commit to one day of rehearsal per week, with the possibility of extension during rehearsal periods.
“It has totally changed my confidence. It’s always been something I struggle with, and the independent project in particular has really stretched my confidence. I’ve had many times when I felt like I wanted to cancel it or I couldn’t do it, but I’m doing it anyway which I think says a lot about how my confidence has improved… I’ve now got three very close friends for life in the other young women - really a new family. It’s been amazing.”
Young Artists Development Programme Member 2018 – 2019
Applications for the Young Artists Development Programme 2019 – 2020 are now open! If you’re looking to take the next step in your career, then please click the link below and complete the application. We can’t wait to meet you!
Closing date: 12:00 pm on Tuesday 10 September
If you have any questions about the programme, or your eligibility to apply, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0207 482 8600 or email email@example.com.
We're looking for a Head of Finance and Operations and a Finance and HR Assistant to join our team in Kentish Town!
The Head of Finance and Operations will lead and oversee the finance management, operations, and administration for Clean Break. This strategic role is part of the Senior Management Team, which consists also of the Head of Participation and the Head of Development & Communications.
The Finance and HR Assistant will support the operation and administration of the finance and human resource systems of Clean Break on a day-to-day basis to enable effective management of the company.
If you would like to join our team click the link below to read the application pack and find out how to apply.
Our work on stage, in prisons and in the community could not happen without the generous support of our donors. Each year we need to raise over £1 million, and every donation, no matter what size, makes our work possible.
“Not sure how I would have got through if it was not for Clean Break” - Clean Break Member
Become a Friend of Clean Break today and help us change women's lives.
Here are the different ways you can make an impact:
The Compassionate £5 monthly or £60 annually
Your support at this level could provide lunch for Members participating in a Theatre Making workshop for up to a month
The Collaborative £25 monthly or £300 annually
This level could facilitate 3 days’ outreach work with women in prisons and community settings
The Courageous £50 monthly or £600 annually
This level could inspire Members with a masterclass from a leading theatre artist
The Creative £100 monthly or £1,200 annually
This level could give women full access to our Members programme for one season: and the chance to build confidence, skills and creativity and access tailored support, all within Clean Break’s inspiring, trauma-informed and women-only studios
All donations are fully gift aid-able. By signing up to Clean Break’s Friends scheme you will receive e-news bulletins with updates, opportunities to join us for performances and events, and invitations to explore further support for Clean Break’s work.
“Touches us in a way that news stories and reportage can’t” - The Guardian on Clean Break production Joanne, 2016
Sign up today and start making change, to join click here
We have appointed Mimi Findlay as Producer, ahead of our 40th anniversary season in 2019. She takes up the position from January.
Mimi joins us with a background in producing and theatre administration. She has worked for companies including Fuel, Talawa, National Theatre, Actors Touring Company and Paines Plough as producer and project manager, theatre administrator and assistant to the directors/general PA. She is also currently on the panel for the Alfred Fagon Award.
Róisín McBrinn, Joint Artistic Director, commented;
‘Anna, Erin and I are delighted to welcome Mimi to our team. She brings a wealth of experience a progressive, insightful attitude to who gets to make and see theatre and is joining the company at an important time when we are producing more and reaching out to more audiences. We look forward to creating exceptional theatre together.’
‘I am proud to join Clean Break at such a pivotal moment in its history and look forward to getting stuck into our 2019 anniversary season and beyond. It is important to me that theatre sustains careers from all corners of the industry and harnesses artists’ voices to enhance British culture for everyone and Clean Break is a vital part of this endeavour.’
The Producer role is central to Clean Break’s commitment to create extraordinary theatre that fuses the work of leading women writers and artists with the work and experiences of the company’s Members (women with experience of or on the fringes of the criminal justice system). Working closely with Clean Break’s three-women leadership team, she will take Clean Break shows and projects, at various stages of development, into production and support the team with the development of new ideas, collaborations and partnerships.
Earlier this month, we launched a Twitter competition asking female photographers to retweet and reply with one of their photographs in the hopes of being awarded some free time in our photography studio. We were absolutely staggered by the wave of responses we got and the quality of the photographs. In fact, the quality was so high that we were unable to select only one winner, and have decided to award studio time to three outstanding photographers with three outstanding photographs. They are:
Yaa (#7), Heather Agyepong, 2017
Babirye, Brainchild, Myah Jeffers, 2018
Georgie, Behind The Scars Series, Sophie Mayanne, 2018
On a separate note, we also had many DMs and emails testifying as to how enormously difficult it is for even seemingly established female photographers to make headway in a still male-dominated field. We're glad to be able to help, even in this small way. Congratulations to everyone who entered!
Are you looking for the opportunity to get your career in the arts kickstarted? We have several volunteer opportunities based in our studios in the heart of Kentish Town.
We're looking for:
If you are interested in any of the roles above please send a CV and cover letter to Samantha McNeil at Samantha.McNeil@cleanbreak.org.uk.
Clean Break is on the hunt for one lucky company to offer our support to this summer! We'll be offering:
We're looking for companies that value the sames things we do, so if your show is foregrounding women and/or the criminal justice system, apply now! Not sure if your show fits those criteria? Apply anyway! What have you got to lose?
The winner will be judged based on who we feel best reflects our own theatrical and social values. To apply, please share the competition on Twitter and reply to our posts about the competition with <100 words about your show and company by 4pm on 15 June. The winner will be announced by 6pm the same day.
Click here to download the 2016/7 prospectus and view our wide range of free courses.