News — Clean Break



a photo of Emily in front of a Clean Break play poster

A day in the life of a Development Manager at Clean Break

Clean Break Development Manager Emily shares what a day at at work looks like for her

8:15am – I work in the office 2-3 times a week so on office days I get up early-ish to travel to north London ready for what is always a lovely day in our women-only, trauma-informed community space.

9:30 – As soon as I arrive in the office, I say my hello’s and grab a cup of tea. We often have sweets/biscuits/chocolates in the staff kitchen which is great for a morning treat!

10am – Team Time is our weekly, all-staff meeting where we all share one key thing we’re working on that week. As Development Manager this can vary from getting an application submitted, writing a funding report, organising a Supporters event or updating the team on a funding success.

*If we’re in the office we celebrate any successful grant applications by ringing a bell (Selling Sunset style) and celebrating as a team which is very fun!

11am – Writing compelling funding proposals for Trusts and Foundations is a key part of my role and is the first step to hopefully getting money in and reaching our fundraising targets each year. After completing prospecting, I will work with teams across the organisation to prioritise applications and understand which projects to focus proposals on. After this, I will set about completing the funding applications (around 2-3 per month) often to tight deadlines (fuelled by lots of cups of tea in the process!)

1pm – Lunch time is one of my favourite parts of the day as we will often share a meal with Members and colleagues in either the Green Room or our lovely courtyard area. We have a group of wonderful Catering Volunteers who cook delicious hot meals 3x a week which makes for a lovely treat on office days.

2pm – Each week I catch up with our Head of Development and Communications to talk through what I’m working on and what’s coming up. I really value these weekly chats as they are a great way to check in, ask questions and make sure things are in place to support us both in completing work, which often have competing deadlines. We will work through our application/reporting trackers, discuss any events that need planning and talk through strategic plans for future funding.

3pm – Reporting: my favourite part of the job! It’s such a joy writing reports for funders to tell them about all the amazing activities that their funding has supported. These reports will be used to release grant payments, act as a renewal ask or summarise the end of grant. Reports typically comprise some key aspects: summarising delivery of projects (Members Programme, productions, prison work & partnerships), presenting monitoring data from Members/audiences and updating funders on the future of our work. Once this is all collated, I’ll spend an unnecessary amount of time making the report look good in Canva before sending to funders.

5pm – I spend time each month prospecting new funding opportunities to ensure we are aware of upcoming grants that we can apply to. Carrying out due diligence, understanding funding guidance and thinking about upcoming fundraising needs helps us to make informed decisions to support strategic plans.

5:30pm – After another lovely day in the building I head home, ready to go again tomorrow!

Clean Break is currently recruiting for a Development Manager and Development Co-Ordinator to support the expansion of the Development team. For further information and how to apply, please visit this section of our website.

Applications are open until Wednesday 12 July 2023.

tags : Opportunities
a black and white photo of Tanya Tracey

Being a Clean Break Trustee

Co-Chair Tanya Tracey gives her insight into the role.

Clean Break is looking for new Co-Chairs to join our Board, which is made up of inspiring women from many different walks of life who work to ensure we hold our vision and mission at our heart.

Tanya Tracey is one of our out-going Co-Chairs and has been a valued member of the Board for the last eight years, so we asked her three questions about being a Trustee at Clean Break. If you are considering applying but want to know more, read what she has to say about the impact it could have on your life and career, and the difference you could make in the lives of women affected by the criminal justice system.

What have you gained from being a Clean Break Trustee?

I have been a Trustee since 2014 and became Co-Chair in 2021, which has been an exciting and interesting experience. Being a Trustee increased my confidence to lead and as a result has bolstered my career outside of Clean Break.

I started the Co-Chair role with trepidation. Although, I had, of course, chaired many meetings before, I’d never taken on the responsibility of chairing an organisation. For me, the role meant part doing, part learning and I know that this was the same for my Co-Chair Alison Frater.

In the end, I’ve realised there are many ways to be a Chair. It works because it’s about the skills and experience you bring, it's not something you train for. It means that together we could set a broad base for chairing with both lived experience and learned experience. We share and discuss what we see and hear from each of our different perspectives. You get a stronger sense of co-production in the oversight and governance because the reach is wider and deeper.

How does being a Clean Break Trustee fit into your life?

It fits into my life because our values align. Knowing that I am part of an organisation that advocates for and amplifies the voices of women in the most difficult of circumstances feels right for me, especially as the most marginalised women go unheard.

Many of the women that call Clean Break ‘home’ or ‘family’ are women who have survived the unimaginable, including imprisonment. Clean Break’s commitment to having Members at the heart of all that we do fits well with my personal commitment of driving change through campaigning, influencing how people think about justice, co-production and centring those whose lives have been impacted by the criminal justice system.

Whilst this is the most important reason why Clean Break fits well into my life, I couldn’t have been part of the board if there wasn’t flexibility, support and understanding for Trustees' personal lives. By offering a more inclusive model of participating and contributing to the Board, I have been able to grow, develop and stay in post as Trustee and Co-Chair.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about applying?

Just apply. If the advert has caught your eye, I imagine it is because there is something about Clean Break that speaks to you. Your skills, expertise and experience whether it is lived, learned or a combination of both has value and Clean Break would love to hear from you. If you have never held a Trustee role, then let this one be your first. If you are passionate about theatre as a vehicle for change, if you are committed to anti-racism, if you are passionate about women’s voices being front and centre and challenging a justice system that harms the most vulnerable women, then Clean Break wants you!

To find out more about our Co-Chair roles please click here.

tags : Opportunities
a collage of images of our volunteers, they are serving food and working on our Members Programme. In the middle it there is the volunteers week logo.

Celebrating our Volunteers

It’s Volunteers Week 2022!

We would like to say a massive THANK YOU to our incredible community of volunteers. At Clean Break, we are proud to have an excellent volunteering programme, developed by our Volunteer Manager Sammy McNeil.

The mutual benefits of volunteering are important to us at Clean Break. We are grateful to have a group of dedicated and talented volunteers who support our ground-breaking work in a range of ways. Our volunteers provide therapeutic support for our Members, cook nutritious lunches, assist facilitators on our creative groups programme, support our team with administrative tasks, and more! Through our thoughtful and flexible approach to providing volunteering opportunities, Clean Break volunteers develop valuable skills, experience and confidence in our unique and welcoming women-only environment.

To celebrate Volunteers Week, Sammy sat down with three volunteers, Chloe, Sara and Sophie, to hear from them about what it’s like being part of Clean Break:

If you are interested in volunteering with Clean Break and would like to find out more, please get in touch with Sammy at - we would love to hear from you!

Photography by Tracey Anderson.

tags : Opportunities

Members Involvement Consultancy

We are looking to appoint an experienced service-user involvement consultant.

Clean Break is looking to appoint an experienced service-user involvement consultant (individual or organisation) to help fully realise our ambitions of Members (women with experience of the criminal justice system and women at risk of entering it) playing a meaningful and active part in the life of the Company.

Clean Break is committed to scaling up the involvement of our Members across company activity to ensure they contribute in a meaningful way to plans and decisions made about the company’s future. The way this happens at present is through regular feedback, and through our Members Forum and Members Advisory Group and at trustee level. However, progress with our Advisory Group has been slower than originally anticipated, due to lack of staff capacity to invest in this piece of work and more latterly the pandemic.

Outside of engagement in the artistic programme (as participants, volunteers and artists), our aim is for Members to be able to contribute to and to understand the work of staff and trustees who they may not come across in their everyday use of our services. There is a genuine appetite to accelerate and amplify Members' involvement to achieve our vision of ‘Members at the heart’ of Clean Break.

We believe that a new approach is needed, and are excited to invest some additional resource and capacity to review, improve and firmly establish the Members Advisory Group and Members Forum at Clean Break and ensure an accessible and fit for purpose model of involvement for the future.

Because our work is about highlighting women’s experiences and providing services for women with experience of the criminal justice system and at risk of entering it, all of our positions are open to women only, (exempt under the Equality Act 2010, Schedule 9, part 1). If you are an organisation the key people should be women.

Click here to download the information pack

The closing date for receipt of proposals is 10am on Friday 16 April 2021.

tags : Opportunities

Anti-Racism Consultant

We are looking to appoint an experienced anti-racism consultant or organisation.

Clean Break is looking to appoint an experienced anti-racism consultant or organisation to provide expertise and additional capacity to support us in designing and implementing our anti-racism commitments.

Clean Break is undertaking a thorough internal review of its anti-racism practices and policy framework. We are seeking the expertise of an external consultant to support us in our endeavour to improve understanding and rectify the systemic ways in which racism exists in our organisation and implement change that drives out inequality in our structures and processes. We want to build on our existing good practice and alter our future to the benefit of all women, enabling us to actively behave in an anti-racist way.

In this role you will work iteratively with the Joint Artistic Director and Head of Participation supporting them to lead this work effectively, offering guidance to help wise decision making and being accessible to address issues which may arise. You will also facilitate conversations with the whole staff team as well as the Chair and Trustees to ensure a company wide approach. 

Because our work is about highlighting women’s experiences and providing services to women, all of our positions are open to women only (exempt under Equality Act 2020 Schedule 9, part 1). If you are an organisation the key personnel involved should be women.

Full details are in our pack and accompanying policies, linked below:
The deadline for submitting proposals is 10am on Monday 1 February.

tags : Opportunities

Weston Jerwood Creative Bursary

Clean Break is one of 50 arts organisations to be funded to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Fellow.

  • The role at Clean Break will be a Participation Associate working across Clean Break’s Members Programme, Young Artist Development Programme and Prison residencies. Recruitment dates are still to be confirmed.
  • The programme is targeted at applicants from low socio-economic groups, who are under-represented in the arts and cultural sector.

Clean Break is to host a Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries Fellow as part of a programme to get more people from low socio-economic backgrounds into cultural careers. Across the UK there will be 50 exciting opportunities to develop a career in the arts, with each role playing an important part in the host organisation. Clean Break is welcoming applications for the role of Participation Associate, which will involve working across Clean Break’s Members programme, Young Artist Development Programme and Prison residencies.

Even before the pandemic wreaked havoc on career prospects in the arts, those from middle-class backgrounds were 2.5 times more likely to end up in creative occupations than their working-class peers. This is a situation which has not improved since records began in 2014. Social mobility is a greater issue in the cultural sector and wider creative industries than across the economy as a whole. The wider creative industries have created over 300,000 jobs over the past five years, yet the number of creative workers from working-class backgrounds has increased by just 33,000. Just as with the impact of the 2008 financial crisis, it is expected that those who are already finding it difficult to make their way in the arts will be the worst hit by the impact of covid-19.

The Weston Jerwood Creative Bursaries aim to redress the balance by funding 50 paid, year-long artistic and creative Fellowships as well as an organisational development programme run by people make it work to embed inclusive practices for the host organisation, with three members of the host team taking part, including a board member and a senior executive.

This is the fourth edition of the programme, which has been running for over 10 years and has 125 alumni to date, many of whom have forged successful careers. This edition of WJCB is the largest yet, with support from Arts Council England’s Transforming Leadership Programme, Garfield Weston Foundation, Art Fund, Arts Council of Wales, Creative Scotland, and PRS Foundation.

Click here to find out more about the programme
Click here to find out more about the thinking behind the programme
Click here to see which other organisations are involved

tags : Opportunities
Write 2 Connect Slide

Write 2 Connect

We are a community. We are all connected.

Earlier this year, Clean Break and It’s Not Your Birthday But… joined together to launch Write 2 Connect, a letter writing project connecting women through the prison walls with women in the community.

At the end of the project, Artist and Filmmaker Chuck Lowry worked with our Members to create a film to celebrate Write 2 Connect and the words of comfort, hope and inspiration shared from women to women. The film was originally created for Agenda and MIND's #womensidebyside conference.

About Write 2 Connect

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 in May 2020, 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.

Community Letters

Over 200 letters were delivered to HMP Downview. The women in HMP Downview then wrote their own letters in response which were passed on to women accessing services at women's centres.Letters from DownviewIf you would like read some more of the letters from the project please click on this link 

Helen Pringle

The Helen Pringle Award

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 on May 14 2017 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.

Helen Pringle

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 Helen Pringle Award 2020 was awarded to Clean Break Members, Esther and Kei. 
We will be opening applications for 2021 on 14 May 2021.
tags : Opportunities
clean break opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities at Clean Break!

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.

Research Volunteer Recruitment Pack

Prefer the great outdoors? We’re looking for someone to help with the upkeep of our garden, so it can be enjoyed by everyone.

Gardener Volunteer Recruitment Pack

Want to build your administrative skills across fundraising, marketing and participation support? We’re looking for someone to help our Development Team.

Development and Members Administration Volunteer Recruitment Pack

If you’d like to find out more about volunteering for Clean Break email Samantha McNeil, our Volunteer Coordinator, at or call 020 7482 8600.

tags : Opportunities
BRAZEN Clean break

Applications Open for Young Artists Development Programme

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 

Click here to apply for the Young Artists Development Programme 2019/20

tags : Opportunities
Clean Break Spring Season

Become a Friend of Clean Break

As part of our 40th Anniversary celebrations we're launching a brand new Friends Scheme. This will give you a chance to support our work and be the first to know all our news.

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



tags : Opportunities

Clean Break Announce New Producer

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.’

Mimi commented;

‘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.

tags : Opportunities

Photography Competition Winners Announced!

Our competition for female photographers has showcased the incredible talent out there!

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:

Heather Agyepong

Yaa (#7), Heather Agyepong, 2017

Myah Jeffers

Babirye, Brainchild, Myah Jeffers, 2018

Sophie Mayanne

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!

tags : Opportunities
clean break opportunities

Kick start your arts career by volunteering at Clean Break!

Are you looking for a volunteer role in an arts organisation?

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 

Click here to find out more about the work that we do. 

tags : Opportunities

Clean Break Announces a Competition!

Apply before 4pm on 15 June for your chance to win!

Clean Break is on the hunt for one lucky company to offer our support to this summer! We'll be offering:

  • Free rehearsal space at our London studios for the last week of July (23-27 July, 9am-5pm)
  • 1-2-1 meeting with our marketing team for advice on selling your show.
  • A promotional bump on our website and via our social media channels

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.
Good luck!

tags : Opportunities
clean break voice and singing

Download the 2016/7 Prospectus here

Click here to download the 2016/7 prospectus and view our wide range of free courses.

tags : Opportunities

Keep up to date with Clean Break news, productions, training and more.