Trustees Needed

The Prison Phoenix Trust is a charity which encourages prisoners in the development of their spiritual welfare, through the practices of meditation and yoga, working with silence and the breath.

We offer personal support to prisoners around the UK and the Republic of Ireland through teaching, workshops, correspondence, books and newsletters – and to prison staff too. We work with people of any faith, or of none, and honour all religions.  More information about the Trust is available on our website: www.ThePPT.org.uk. 

We are looking for volunteers for the role of Trustee

We are looking for people who understand and support the aims and principles of the PPT and who are willing to share responsibility for the strategic direction and governance of the charity.  Trustees attend meetings four times a year, in Oxford, usually on Monday evenings, and there is an away day with the staff team once a year. 

We aspire to have a diverse Board with a balance of skills, experience, backgrounds and knowledge, and we are particularly interested in hearing from:

  • People who have served a prison sentence
  • People who work in prison
  • A faith leader
  • People with experience in finance and/or HR

Where necessary, training can be given.

You will be joining a friendly team of Trustees, volunteers and paid staff to help support a unique and effective organisation that offers hope to people in prison. 

If you’re interested, please email the Director of the Prison Phoenix Trust, Sam Settle, at all@theppt.org.uk  to arrange an exploratory conversation.


Job Opportunity – Yoga Coordinator

The Prison Phoenix Trust is seeking a

Yoga Coordinator

(3 days per week)

The Prison Phoenix Trust, a national charity based in Oxford supporting prisoners and prison officers through the disciplines of meditation and yoga, is seeking applicants for one of their Yoga Coordinator positions.

The person in this position will coordinate the provision of yoga and meditation classes in prisons, and recruit, train and support yoga teachers for prison work.

The applicant must have a 200 hour or more yoga teaching qualification and the use of a car.

Starting salary:  £26,883 – £27,762 pro rata

Closing date for applications: 22nd November, 2019

For job description and specification email Laura Parrack (all@theppt.org.uk) or telephone 01865 512521


2019 Christmas Cards On Sale

This year’s cards come in packs of 5 each of 2 designs, both drawn by a friend at HMP Grendon.

One card is a snowman yogi, the other is a winter woodland scene. The inside is blank for your message. The cards measure 144 x 103 mm.

Each pack, including postage, is £5.

Please email all@theppt.org.uk to place an order.

snowman doing yoga christmas card

Teaching Yoga In Prison – 5 Day Residential Course

22nd – 26th June, 2020, Carmelite Retreat Centre, Boars Hill, Oxford – £495

This 5-day residential course, designed and run by the Prison Phoenix Trust (and accredited as a British Wheel of Yoga module) is open to all teachers, and equips you with the knowledge and confidence to teach in prison. The Carmelite Retreat Centre is on the quiet grounds of a priory, with views overlooking Oxford. We will explore in depth the issues, challenges and rewards of working behind bars. Content includes: security, professional boundaries, teachers as role models, young offenders, female prisoners, sex offenders, drugs and alcohol, the life and work of prison officers, applying for prison teaching. Daily meditation and yoga practice are integral to the course. For accreditation, teachers must later observe a prison class and be assessed teaching in prison. Cost includes room, board and BWY admin fee.

Let us know if you’re interested and we’ll put you on our list to receive an application form when the process starts in September. The closing date for applications is 14th February 2020.

To find our more please email us or get in touch with Sally, Brent or Victoria on 01865 512521


An Introduction to Teaching Yoga in Prison

Sunday 13th October, 2019, Wytham Village Hall, Oxford – £35

Is it possible to give unconditional support, affirmation and encouragement through yoga and meditation in a highly regulated, stressful setting like prison? Come find out more on this day, when we will explore the challenges and rich rewards of sharing yoga and meditation with prisoners, ex-prisoners and staff. Open to teachers interested in finding out more, and to those already working in secure settings.

To find our more please email us or get in touch with Sally, Brent or Victoria on 01865 512521


Allowing True Freedom: a day of meditation

Mount St Anne’s Retreat Centre, Killenard, Portarlington, Co. Laois.
Sunday 22nd September, 2019 – €30. 9.30 am – 5.00 pm

Again and again, prison yoga teachers say they are surprised by how much their prisoner students appreciate and take to meditation. Held mostly in silence, this day offers a chance to discover why that might be, and to develop your meditation practice so you feel at ease to offer it in your classes. There will be short talks on the practice, periods of seated and walking mediation, a yoga session and a vegetarian lunch in silence. Meditation days are an excellent way to establish a regular practice or to revive or strengthen it, so we welcome teachers who have attended retreats or such days before, as well as those who haven’t. Priority is for teachers working in prisons or other secure forensic settings. At the end of the day, we will take time to reflect on the day’s practice and hear from teachers working in prisons about your classes. We hope you can be there!

To find our more please email us or get in touch with Sally, Brent or Victoria on 01865 512521


Summer Meditation Retreat for Prison Yoga Teachers and Letter Writers

Carmelite Retreat Centre, Boars Hill, Oxford, 28th – 30th June, 2019 – £175

This retreat, held mostly in silence, offers a chance to develop your meditation practice so you feel more confident in offering it as part of your teaching. Talks on the practice as well as one-to-one meetings with the facilitators provide the support you need for the extended periods of practice over the weekend. Meditation retreats are an excellent way to establish a regular practice or to revive or strengthen it, so we welcome teachers who have attended in previous years, as well as those who have not yet been. First priority is given to teachers working in prisons, IRCs, secure hospitals or bail hostels, and to volunteer letter writers. Some financial assistance is available. You may also pay in instalments. We hope you can join us.

To find our more please email us or get in touch with Sally, Brent or Victoria on 01865 512521


Yoga Practice Reduces the Psychological Distress Levels of Prison Inmates

A new Swedish study has shown that a 10-week yoga course can lead to a reduction of levels of psychological distress in prisoners, which can in turn make them less likely to reoffend. The study also links regular yoga practice to reduction in obsessive-compulsive and paranoid thinking, as well as a reduction in “somatisation” (mental distress leading to physical symptoms).

You can read the full study here and find more studies on yoga and meditation in prison on our evidence page.



The 30 Friends Appeal

This year, the Prison Phoenix Trust turns 30 years old. The picture above is of PPT Patron Jeremy Irons helping us celebrate this milestone at a recent event! To help us towards seeing another three decades, we are looking for 30 friends and supporters on the outside who would like to commit £500 each year (or £42 a month) for the next three years.

The demand for our work is increasing – there are 23% more yoga classes than this time last year, and the number of people who asked for our book packs rose by 34% last year. This means we are currently supporting 176 weekly classes in 91 institutions and sending out 3,485 book packs a year to prisoners who ask for our help.

To support this ongoing work, we continue to need to raise money. Last year, a kind friend who has been giving £35,000 annually for the last 13 years let us know they will not be able to continue, as their circumstances are changing. This is a great opportunity for us to let more people know about our work, and to invite them to share in this work, founded on the healing power of silence, with meditation and yoga, and founded on the basic human activity of reaching out and connecting with each other.

If you’d like to be one of those 30 people who will set up a regular donation of £42 a month (or any amount you’d like) this year, please fill out the form below and we’ll email you details of how to start a direct debit. We’d be delighted if you choose to be involved in this way.