Arise 2019 - Elizabeth Fry Charity

Each year, we have a select number of exhibitors at The Sister Sister Summit -Arise.

We are delighted to continue this tradition in 2019 and are proud to present our 2019 Exhibitors, comprising of organisations from various sectors such as education, charity, retail and consultancy.


In 1817 Elizabeth Fry created the Association for the Improvement of Female Prisoners and along with a group of 12 other women lobbied authorities including Parliament. In the 1820s she inspected prison conditions, advocated reform and established more groups to campaign for reform. In 1823 prison reform legislation was finally introduced in Parliament.

Whilst Elizabeth Fry is most well known for her prison reform activities, she was also involved in investigating and proposing reforms in mental asylums. For more than 25 years she visited every convict ship leaving for Australia and promoted reform of the convict ship system. She worked to improve nursing standards and established a nursing school which influenced her distant relative, Florence Nightingale. She worked for the education of working women, for better housing for the poor and was responsible for the establishment of soup kitchens.

Elizabeth Gurney was born in Norwich, England in 1780 to a well-off Quaker family. In 1800 she married Joseph Fry. In 1813 Elizabeth Fry made her first visit to Newgate prison where she observed women and children in terrible conditions. Elizabeth began working for the reform, campaigning for segregation of the sexes, female matrons for female prisoners, education and employment (often knitting and sewing) and religious instruction. Elizabeth Fry died in 1845. Wishing to commemorate her work, the Lord Mayor of London convened a meeting at which it was decided to found an institute for ex-prisoners in her memory – the Elizabeth Fry Refuge. In 1925 it was reconstituted as a charitable organisation and became a hostel for women on probation which in 1949 was officially approved by the Home Office. It moved to Reading in 1962 where the work continues in her memory. Times have changed and the Elizabeth Fry Charity, although retaining its charitable status, now owns and manages a hostel defined as an Approved Premises partially funded through the Ministry of Justice. The Elizabeth Fry Charity provides support to women, mostly on licence from prison, who have a range of complex needs such as homelessness, drugs and alcohol and employment. We provide an environment where residents’ behaviour and additional conditions of their sentence can be monitored. This is achieved through 24-hour staffing, CCTV monitoring, room searches, random drug and alcohol testing, curfews and monitoring of additional conditions.

We provide support to residents in the form of one to one sessions with a designated keyworker as well as a programme of group based sessions. Residents at Elizabeth Fry House have access to a range of purposeful activities aimed to support them to address issues that led to their offending and to develop the skills for them to lead an offending-free life in future. Such programmes are not fully funded through our contract with the Ministry of Justice and we are therefore reliant on raising additional funds or volunteers to provide them. Through our work, we help women to begin to address the issues they face, to improve their lives and reduce the likelihood of further offending.

Get Involved

The Elizabeth Fry Charity receives funding to provide an Approved Premises through its contract with the Ministry of Justice. However, we are constantly fundraising in order to be able to enhance the service we provide to the women we work with.

All donations make a difference to the women we are supporting. £5 will pay for prizes for an evening activity, £10 will fund a basic food parcel for a resident moving on, £25 would fund a yoga session for residents, £30 would pay for a session with our counsellor, £35 would purchase a bedding set for a resident moving on, £42 would fund a session with a Citizen Advice Bureau Advisor and follow-up work.

Contact Elizabeth Fry

6 Coley Avenue Reading RG1 6LQ 0118 9572385


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