About us

Wooden Ladder

The Escape Route is a philanthropic non-profit organisation set up by entrepreneur Kit Sadgrove, with a mission to help ex-prisoners become self-employed.

Our aim is to reduce re-offending by providing ex-prisoners with the tools to shape their own future.

All our materials are written and vetted by former prisoners. Our packs are presented in a down-to-earth format, and the trades and professions laid out in our Escape Plans are readily achievable by anyone leaving prison.

You should be able to access our packs through the prison library or Probation Services, or by requesting a pack yourself.

We aim to show, though example, that self-employment is within your reach. It isn’t too technical and it can be achieved with little or no money.

Many ex prisoners already have valuable skills that can be used to earn money. In other cases, ex-prisoners need to acquire either the technical skills to become proficient in a specific profession or ancillary skills such as keeping the books; or they need support in gaining the confidence to become self employed.

Our vision

We believe that ex-prisoners should be able to gain paid work, just as other members of society do. Given the barriers that hinder an ex-prisoner from becoming an employee, we see self employment as an effective alternative.

With its freedoms, independence and emphasis on self reliance self-employment is well suited to the mindset of many ex-prisoners, and is therefore something to be fostered.

We believe that all people leaving prison should be informed about the benefits, risks and opportunities of self employment. We believe those who are interested in self employment should be given the resources to achieve that.

As part of that, we want our packs to be freely available to anyone who sees self-employment as an escape route from a cycle of offending.

Our purpose

To create and make available, free of charge, information packs that help ex-prisoners to become self-employed.

Our values

We aim to treat all ex-prisoners with respect and as equals.

We aim to explain clearly how ex-prisoners can become self employed. We want to remove the barriers that are created through lack of clarity and lack of information.

We know that ex-prisoners can give us valuable insights and experiences, and that we can recycle this knowledge into what we do, and thus improve our advice and support.


The rationale behind The Escape Route will have been proved right, the organisation’s effectiveness demonstrated, and our vision achieved, if  the following has happened by the end of 2015:

  • 25% of people leaving prison are aware of the opportunities provided by self employment
  • The Escape Route information is visible in all UK prisons.
  • At least 100 ex-prisoners have attested to setting up their own successful business using The Escape Route materials.
  • At least 25 mentors are providing information to ex-prisoners.
  • The Escape Route has a database of at least 1,000 supporters.
  • At least five articles in the national media have mentioned The Escape Route in the last 12 months.
  • The organisation has sufficient income from a range of sources, so as to allow it to continue its work.

Public benefit

The work of The Escape Route provides a clear public benefit in reducing recidivism and therefore crime,  by providing a path for ex-prisoners to become self-employed and earn money.


Become a Trustee
Are you a self-employed ex-prisoner, or know someone who is? We’re seeking one or two Trustees for The Escape Route.
You will provide advice and guidance on the packs we provide, bringing your experience to bear. This is not a paid role (no one in The Escape Route gets paid).

You will need to attend only one annual general meeting a year, which is done through a conference call, as well as contributing ideas and energy.

Click the ‘Contact us’ menu to let us know you are interested.

We need your donation to keep going. Please donate whatever you can. Your donation helps us us send out Escape Plans to prisoners who need a fresh start.
Give through online shopping
Do you shop online? Do it through EasyFundraising.org.uk and raise a free donation for The Escape Route every time you shop! https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/theescaperoute/