We understand that being told you need to come to Elizabeth Fry House can cause anxiety and stress. We want to ensure that you have as much information about what to expect, the support available to you and provide you with answers to any questions before you arrive.
We will always try and arrange a video call with a member of staff prior to your arrival – usually the person who will be your Placement Supervisor or our Housing Worker. This will enable you to find out more about how Elizabeth Fry House operates and how we’ll work with you.
It also means we can help to support you by finding out more about you, the things you enjoy doing and the aspects of being at Elizabeth Fry House which you may find more difficult.
Frequently asked Questions
Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions which current residents have helped to answer.
Need to find out more?
If you have any other questions about what life is like at Elizabeth Fry House please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0118 9572385
Referrals are made by Probation Service staff. It is usually the resident’s Offender Manager who makes the referral. Referrals should be made to the Central Referral Unit for women via NDelius.
Sadly the opinions you hear in prison are from those who are recalled from Approved Premises – no one likes to be recalled. They may feel they had a bad experience and that their recall was harsh. But don’t believe what you hear! Your stay at Elizabeth Fry House is what you make of it. All the support you need is here. It is up to you to take advantage of what is on offer and use it to build your own success.
On arrival you will be met by a member of the team, offered a drink and your belongings will be checked. You will be alcohol and drug tested and asked to hand over your medication (you may be given this back, or it may be kept in the office).
You will meet your Placement Supervisor and speak with your Offender Manager at Probation. You will be shown around the House, introduced to other residents and the meal system will be explained to you. Paperwork also needs to be completed as part of your Part 1 induction.
On your second day you will complete Part 2 of your induction which includes registering with Reading Walk-in Centre and starting your benefit claim.
Elizabeth Fry is an Approved Premise for women. However, there are some male members of staff.
Residents come from women’s prisons across the country who have committed different types of offences. Women are of all ages and backgrounds, having served various lengths of sentences. Your privacy is respected by us and only first names are used around the House.
Moving to an Approved Premise from prison can feel overwhelming – starting afresh with a conviction, whilst meeting new people and dealing with big changes. Surnames and offences aren’t shared. You’ll have a key to your own room, which you can lock.
The staff help support you in keeping you safe from situations and people that could make you vulnerable.
There is a weekly maintenance charge of £30.90, which covers your accommodation, utilities, breakfast, lunch and an evening meal. Residents also make a small contribution to an Activity Fund.
Unfortunately visitors are not allowed, unless they are official visitors such as solicitors, probation staff or social workers. Our priority is to make sure that Elizabeth Fry House is a safe place for all residents.
However, many residents like to meet friends and family in the town centre which is only a 10-minute walk away.
Yes. During the week residents have free time between 1.15pm and 10.00pm and at weekends between 7.30am and 10.00pm. Some residents may have bail or licence conditions with different curfew times and/or sign-ins. All residents are required to be in their rooms from 11pm until 7.00am (7.30am at weekends).
The House is big, with 21 good sized bedrooms. There are plenty of bathrooms, showers and a bath. There are also communal lounges and kitchens which residents can use between 7am and 11pm. The House is clean, fresh and airy with housekeeping staff supported by the residents. The main garden is big and a lovely place to be.
We try not to have unnecessary rules but having some rules allow us to make sure everybody can get along with each other, remain safe and respect our neighbourhood.
When you get here you will be allocated a Placement Supervisor who will work with you and your Offender Manager to decide what areas you need to focus on whilst you are with us. You will then agree a plan which will include your attendance at the programmes offered here or other activities. They will also help you get in touch with other agencies in the community who will be able to further support you.
You will also meet with our Substance Misuse Worker if you have or have had difficulties with drugs and/or alcohol.
If you move on within the Reading area you will be able to meet with our Outreach Worker once you have moved on from the Approved Premises. She can provide a range of support to help you resettle back into the community.
We are close to Reading Probation and the town centre, which has good bus and train links. The best way to get from the town centre is by taxi (approximately 8 mins drive costing £8) or the number 25 or 26 bus (approximately 10 min journey). You will need to get off at the stop after the crossroads at the top of Castle Hill and walk a little way back to Coley Avenue. Elizabeth Fry House (6 Coley Avenue) is about a third of the way down Coley Avenue on the right. Elizabeth Fry House is also roughly a 20 min walk from Reading train station.