Meet Ellen — Clean Break



Photo of Ellen smiling at the camera

Meet Ellen

We spoke with Ellen, who has been a Member for three years, to hear what impact Clean Break has had on her and why she thinks you should support Clean Break’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.

Donate today and your donation will be doubled

Clean Break has provided a safe space for me. Not only has it helped me to develop my skills as a performer and as a writer, but I have also received support with my housing situation, alongside a lot of emotional support from the Members Team.

Clean Break is...

A doorway to prosperity

- Ellen, 2021

What did Clean Break mean to you during the pandemic?

It was a lifeline. As a women-only space, it has been invaluable. There are not many women only spaces, and that has made a really big difference on how I would be in workshops and sessions. For example, in theatre I would be much shyer around men than I am around women.

Tell us about the support you receive at Clean Break

It comes in a variety of ways. I’m offered the opportunity to participate in a range of different courses with tutors who have amazing skills to work with this demographic of women. These tutors offer 1 to 1’s outside of the session to help develop the work I create. I am also supported through art therapy sessions and being given mobile internet so I can access the programme remotely.

What is different about you since joining Clean Break?

I have more confidence in myself as a performer and a writer. I’m a poet, but a lot of the writing I have done whilst at Clean Break is script writing, which I used to find challenging. But since receiving positive feedback on my work in this area, this has helped me to develop, and it has given me confidence.

After a workshop or masterclass, or during it even, I feel inspired, energised and come to life. It wakes something up within me.

How does it feel to be part of the Clean Break community?

I feel proud to be part of this organisation because it does a lot to really help women change their lives.

Why do you think someone should support Clean Break in the Big Give Christmas Challenge?

Clean Break is a unique and innovative organisation, it supports women who would otherwise have been put on the scrap heap. Women that go to prison, the majority of which, go for short sentences and they lose everything during that time. When they come out of prison, they then have to totally rebuild their lives.

Clean Break offers an amazing opportunity for women to do just that through the creative arts. Women can start with their creativity here and some go on to university and become professional actors, writers, playwrights. There is no other organisation doing this work, it’s women-only and it’s so important to support women to develop and grow.

The support given through the Big Give will make a massive difference to many people’s lives. It will help support an incredible organisation with staff who are very well-experienced and well-trained to do what they do in supporting the women here. We have the best theatre and writing, and other creative practitioners come and lead courses and workshops. Clean Break is not able to do this without funding, so please give whatever you can.


Please stand with Clean Break to help us reach and support more women like Ellen on their journey from surviving to thriving. Every £1 donated through the Big Give Christmas Challenge from 30 November to 7 December will be doubled. That means one donation, twice the impact.

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