What we do

Emergency Exit

Which is the right way out for you?
It may be self employment.

The Escape Route is a project set up to help ex-offenders get jobs through self-employment.

We provide a detailed package of information. This includes a guide to a profession, and a plan for escaping the prison system for good.

Each pack contains a guide to a specific trade. And every trade is chosen for its low start-up costs and ease of set up.

There’s a DVD in every pack. It lets you follow in the footsteps of self-employed business people, many of them former inmates, who share their stories in the hope of inspiring you.

Training for some of the professions, such as fitness instructor, is also available in custody, which will make some of the packs even more useful.

Designed by a successful entrepreneur with a former prisoner, these packs deal with the real issues facing ex-prisoners. Doing away with all the business jargon and frills, they offer a step-by-step guide to becoming self-employed.

The packs offer advice on all aspects of setting up a business on a very low budget, including dealing with customers, simplifying the legal issues, and explaining how to manage business finances.

What each pack contains

  • A video interview on DVD – someone in the selected profession explains how they set up a business. Most interviewees are ex-prisoners.
  • Workbook – which relates to the video interview
  • Written transcript of the interview – for the learner to study and refer to. It is especially useful if you don’t have access to a DVD player
  • Business plan – a ready-made plan, covering pricing, selling, marketing and money.
  • Road Map – a visual plan to follow
  • Self-study modules – on setting up the business, how to find clients, legal issues, and how to manage money. Each is written in an easy-to-follow style.

What we hope to do in the future

In time, we hope to build a network of supporters, people who are self employed,  who can provide advice and mentoring, mainly through email.

What we don’t do

We aren’t set up, or big enough, to provide one-to-one advice on jobs for ex-offenders, nor how to set up and run a business. Nor are we competent to give advice on the law or accountancy. But we hope that the packs and the advice on this website will provide you with a springboard to your future.

“This is a good thing the escape route for as i know many people. The fact that this is an opertunity in so many ways for people like myself and otheirs giving us a goal in life when we think NOBODY would take us on compared to people that has no record and qulifications as i put this to yous most cons in jails get qulifacations in jail and proberly has more work ethic as we are in a routine by time set by goverenors and prison staff. Im not taking the fact away from people who hasnt had a record but us ie x cons or cons would jump to the fact of this idear, maybe not all that severe little sentances but or the cons who get the jail by the way of no lifes due to unforsence lack of convidance.”
– Julie

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/