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Project information

Helping British Citizens Survive Prison Abroad

Thousands of British citizens are exposed to harsh, sometimes violent prison conditions overseas, taking a toll on their physical and mental health. The project will send prisoners survival grants to buy necessities like food, and freepost envelopes to maintain contact with loved ones.

April 2017 - March 2018

Charity information: Prisoners Abroad

Prisoners Abroad logo
  • Need


    Every year, thousands of British nationals are arrested overseas. Far from home, they are often left vulnerable and isolated in prisons abroad. In countries like Peru, prison conditions are typically harsh with overcrowding, an inadequate diet and the ever-present threat of violence. There is a poor basic level of care in prisons and families are expected to provide basic items. Prisoners often suffer extreme isolation in countries where they don’t know the culture or language.


    The project will provide a life-line to over 1000 British prisoners through survival grants and vitamins to supplement their diet and buy essential items like food. These seemingly small items make an enormous difference to their quality of life. We will also provide them with freepost envelopes so they can write to family and friends in the UK, and books and newsletters to help maintain a prisoner's emotional well-being and mental health.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To safeguard the welfare of British prisoners in developing countries.


    » Provide quarterly/monthly funds to British prisoners for essential items.
    » Provide vitamins to British prisoners overseas to supplement their diet.
    » Provide books and newsletters to British prisoners to maintain their emotional well-being.

    What success will look like

    Success will be alleviated hardship among over 1000 British prisoners overseas and an improvement in their level of nutrition.

    Aim 2

    Help maintain communication between British prisoners abroad and their loved ones in the UK.


    » Provide freepost envelopes to prisoners so they can maintain contact with family and friends in the UK.

    What success will look like

    Success will be providing freepost envelopes to British prisoners in developing countries so they can better keep in touch with family and friends in the UK.

  • Impact


    We believe that supporting prisoners while they are incarcerated (and continuing to do so upon their release) will vastly improve their chances of successful rehabilitation. This makes it less likely that they will re-offend and more likely that they will re-integrate successfully into society, greatly benefiting their communities.
    We will demonstrate success through the personal testimonials we receive from prisoners abroad and their families and by tracking individual cases on our database.


    The risk is managing to reach and identify all the British prisoners who are eligible for our support. To ensure we reach all those eligible for support we will continue to strengthen the close partnership we have with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). We will do this with through regular contact and training programmes so the FCO fully understands the people we help and the services we provide.


    Donors will receive a six and 12-month report confirming the numbers of prisoners and families we have helped and the help they have received. We will also provide compelling testimonials from clients to demonstrate how your donation transforms lives for the better.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £5,000 Grants Grants for essential items like food, vitamin supplements and toiletries
      £2,500 Books and newspapers Reading and language materials sent out to overseas prisoners
      £2,500 Freepost envelopes To help British prisoners abroad keep in touch with family and friends
  • Background


    The project will be administered from our offices in Finsbury Park in North London. From there we register the British prisoners we work with overseas and their families in the UK. While the survival grants are administered by us, they are directly delivered to prisoners via the FCO. This is just one element of the vital and wide-ranging service we provide, which also includes helping ex-prisoners readjust and resettle in the UK on release.


    The beneficiaries will be British prisoners detained in developing countries and their families in the UK as part of our on-going work. Prisoners Abroad is the only UK charity that provides specialist help to British prisoners abroad and their families in the UK. In 2016/17 we helped 1,775 prisoners abroad, and we currently support 1,636 family members. We anticipate similar figures going forward.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Prisoners Abroad has almost 40 years specialist knowledge and understanding of specific needs and challenges faced by British prisoners abroad and their families. We are the only organisation to help those facing these terrifying scenarios, doing so without judgement or bias.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Nancy Wright, Finance Director

    Wright is responsible for overseeing all payments, including the survival and vitamin grants.

    Theresa Gilson, Head Of Service Delivery

    Gilson oversees who receives our grants abroad and which countries we focus on.

    Matthew Pinches, Senior Caseworker

    He works with prisoners and families, using his Spanish to the benefit of clients in Latin America.