About Us

The Nehemiah Project provides a home and support for vulnerable men with a history of addiction. Our residential Recovery Programme is abstinence-based where men can address the root causes of their addiction within a supportive environment. Our first stage houses are in Streatham and Croydon, and to find out more, please contact our Referrals Co-ordinator Paul Da Costa

At Nehemiah we believe that anyone can change their life, and this underpins all our work. Our holistic, peer group approach to recovery creates a safe place where men can go through the painful process of reviewing their lives and create a foundation on which to build their future.

How Your Support Helps

Our Residents have a history of addiction which has severely affected them, their families and the wider community. We enable these men to break this cycle of addiction, offending and homelessness, and provide the professional and life-changing support required to secure a new future.

See the impact your gifts have made in 2021 Impact Report.

The national average for remaining abstinent for one year is 30%; at Nehemiah 74% of Residents remain abstinent. Nearly 50% of released prisoners reoffend within 12 months and for London prisons this figure increases to 60%. At Nehemiah, as far as we know, only 5% of the men we have worked with in the last five years have reoffended.

Our Impact

Abstention Rate

We enable these men to break this cycle of addiction.

National Average 30%

Nehemiah Average 74%

Reoffend Rate

At Nehemiah, as far as we know, only 5% of the men we have worked with in the last five years have reoffended.

National 50%

London 60%

Nehemiah 5%

Our Staff

John Patience

Chief Executive

Dr John Patience has been the CEO of The Nehemiah Project since 2011. John has been fascinated by behaviour change for many years, initially in what initiates this change and then later in how this interacts within complex social systems.

Adrienne Sissuh

Recovery Programme Manager

Adrienne joined The Nehemiah Project in July 2011 bringing with her over 20 years’ experience in the field of health and social care.
Prior to joining TNP, she worked as a linguist (English, French, Russian), interpreter and translator for Southwark Council and the NHS.

Adrienne has also worked for various housing associations, managing a range of schemes for asylum seekers, refugees, women fleeing domestic violence, homelessness, people with poor mental health, substance misuse problems, and ex-offenders. She currently leads the Recovery Programme Team, overseeing the programme A New Future, keeping an eye on Residents’ welfare and the four houses. Adrienne is respected by all she works with, bringing huge drive, determination, a relentless work ethic, and a thirst for new ideas to every project. She also brings a calm head and her unique sense of humour to every situation. She is deeply committed to her work, to her teams, to The Nehemiah Project and to development in Africa.
Adrienne is also a Fellow of The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and holds the City & Guilds Senior Award of Graduateship in Management.
She also gained her Masters’ degree in International Law.

Lorna Hawthorne

Operations Director

Lorna has worked in various roles at Nehemiah, but as Operations Director is responsible for managing the Charity’s growth, and the opening of new houses as we extend the work that we do.

She is also the Data Protection Officer for The Nehemiah Project and tries not to bore people into a stupor when asked a question about GDPR.
Trained as an interpreter in French and German, Lorna worked for many years at the Canadian High Commission in London. A spell as an oil industry wife overseas added Bahasa Indonesia to her languages, and started her on the journey of working for a charity. Lorna is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Lois Ravenscroft

Development Director

Lois Ravenscroft is the Development Director for The Nehemiah Project responsible for securing income for the organisation. Lois has worked for over 20 years in the not-for-profit/voluntary sector both in the UK and Nigeria. As a direct result of this work, Lois specialises in major gift fundraising management with experience in the areas of the arts, homelessness, disability, international relief and development.

Paul Da Costa

Referrals Co-ordinator

Paul has worked within the Criminal Justice system since 1995, working for various public sectors departments and joined Nehemiah in February 2019. Paul interviews and assesses applicants to join Nehemiah’s programme, as well as promoting our service to a wide range of agencies in the sector

Tracey Thomas

Office and Finance Manager

Tracey organises all the Charity’s accounts and administration, and keeps spending in line. Tracey has a PGDip in Business Administration, and as a CAP Money Adviser, she also takes modules in Budgeting in A New Future, and supports men in understanding and managing their finances.

Jenn Flores

Fundraising and Communications Officer

Jenn joined the Nehemiah Project as Fundraising and Communications Officer in July 2021. She has a Bachelor of Arts in History with a minor in Sociology from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Arts in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies from the University of East Anglia. Originally from the United States, Jenn has lived in the UK since 2016. She is an individual member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising, and has worked in the sector since 2013 at The Salvation Army of Clearwater and Upper Pinellas County, Clare College – University of Cambridge and Red Balloon Learner Centres. Having grown up volunteering with The Salvation Army’s addiction treatment programmes and having a personal family history of addiction, Jenn is passionate about supporting people in recovery. A part-time worker, Jenn splits her time between Nehemiah and the UK’s only charity dedicated to supporting those with the eye condition nystagmus, the Nystagmus Network.

Kirsty Holt

Referrals Assistant

Kirsty joined Nehemiah in the autumn of 2021 to assist Paul Da Costa with Referrals. Kirsty works three days a week

Paul Cachia

Recovery Programme Worker

Paul joined Nehemiah in March 2018, bringing with him years of experience working in the alcohol and drugs sector. Paul worked for Foundation 66 and later for the South London and Maudsley Trust as an alcohol outreach worker, so knows the Nehemiah catchment area well. Paul runs the CBT-based Recovery Programme, A New Future, in our first stage house in Streatham.

Helen Malleappah

Recovery Practitioner

Helen joined the Recovery Programme Team in October 2020. Helen brings in-depth experience of working with vulnerable adults and understanding of the problems our Residents face. Helen has worked at a PA and Office Manager to two CEOs, which would explain the efficient way in which she runs the 47TBG office. Her work as an HCA in the community and a private care home give her well-founded skills for work at Nehemiah. She studied Health and Social Care with the Open University, and has training in Mental Health, which fully prepared her for her previous role as Recovery Project Worker for a supported housing charity. This work was forensic, tackling substance misuse and severe mental health.

Abiodun Opaleye

Caretaker : The Chase

Abi has been caretaker at our Clapham house for a number of years, and keeps standards high in the house and garden.

Emily Unwin

Recovery Practitioner

Emily joined the Recovery Programme Team in May 2021, bringing over three years of experience working as a recovery and resettlement worker with vulnerable homeless people in a front line role. Emily has also worked with people on release from prison and those struggling with drug addiction. She is training to qualify as a counsellor. Prior to moving in London and joining this sector, Emily assisted with project management of big software installations for an independent company. As a Recovery Pracitioner, Emily co-facilitates groups and key-works Residents.

Dawn Wilson

Family Programme Practitioner

Dawn joined Nehemiah in February 2019 as the Family Programme Practitioner, where she has brought about some happy family reconciliations. Dawn works with men in all of our houses. As a part-time worker Dawn packs a lot into her three days, working Tuesday to Thursday inclusive

Emma Barnes

Recovery Practitioner

Emma joined Nehemiah in June 2020, during lockdown. Emma has a Bachelor of Social Sciences, with majors in Criminology and Behaviour Management. She began working in the substance misuse sector in Australia before moving to London, and has experience in working with a range of recovery-based formats, including twelve-step-modelled programmes, therapeutic communities and working with trauma-informed care. Emma facilitates the CBT-based Recovery Programme, A New Future, in our Croydon house and works one to one with our Residents.

Our Partner


The British Association of the Order of Malta

The British Association of the Order of Malta (BASMOM) has been working with the Nehemiah Project since 2016, providing expertise, funding and volunteer support to enable more men to break the cycle of addiction and crime. In partnership with BASMOM, Nehemiah‘s fourth house was established in Croydon and officially opened in June 2019.

BASMOM continues to support and work in partnership with the Nehemiah Project and wishes all their Residents the best of luck on their roads to recovery and freedom.

Our Trustees

Tom Nell

Tom has served as a Trustee since 2010 and was elected Chair of The Nehemiah Project Board of Trustees in March 2018. Tom was Managing Director of two subsidiaries of Cory Environmental Ltd for 11 years, latterly involved in growing a new subsidiary. Before that, he spent three years with Serco plc, and 18 years with Whitbread plc. He has experience in Logistics, Finance and Human Resources at the level of strategic direction and the delivery of on-the-ground services. He has driven business turnaround and growth, been involved in mergers, bidding and start- ups.

Kay Hunter Johnston

Kay joined The Nehemiah Project in December 2009 as a Trustee and was subsequently appointed Chief Executive in 2010. She retired in November 2012, and was reappointed as a Trustee. Kay trained as a solicitor with Allen & Overy, and subsequently became Company Secretary and Legal Counsel at The National Theatre. Kay has been involved in prison work for many years as a chaplaincy visitor at HMP Wandsworth, also helping to run Sycamore and the Alpha course in the prison. She has extensive practical experience of successful fundraising.

William Ansell

William was Director in Investment Management at Smith & Williamson until his retirement, following a long career in investment management. William has been involved for many years in a programme for mentoring ex-offenders organized by the Chaplaincy at Wormwood Scrubs.

Tony Watson

Tony worked for HM Prison Service for 20 years in various roles at their headquarters, until his retirement in 2011 from the post of Head of Offender Rights and Responsibilities in the National Offender Management Service. Tony is now Volunteer Chaplain at High Down Prison and also helps deliver Restorative Justice programmes at HMP Downview.

Joanna Whitaker

Joanna was appointed to the Board in December 2016, and is also a Volunteer with the Order of Malta, primarily caring for the sick and disabled, and supporting the younger helpers. As a qualified Addictions Counsellor (University of Bath) and accredited Recovery Coach, Joanna is an experienced practitioner who brings a good understanding of the problems faced by Nehemiah’s Residents.

Gavin Boyle

Gavin worked for years in investment and finance, most recently with the Tudor Investment Corporation. Gavin is a Global Envoy for The Global Fund for Forgotten People, an initiative of the Order of Malta; in this capacity he seeks to visit projects either funded by, or which might be funded by, the Fund, as well as representing the Fund to potential supporters. Gavin is also an active supporter of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House where he is a member of the Director’s Circle of Funders, and UNICEF, where he is a Global Guardian. Gavin is a founding Director of the education-focused charity SHINE Trust where he served as Chairman for five years; since August 2000, SHINE has donated almost £25 million, helping 280,000 children from 5000 schools. The Gavin Boyle Fellowship in Cosmology and Exoplanetary Science has recently been endowed at Cambridge University, by a joint donation from Gavin and the Kavli Foundation, and aims at attracting outstanding observers and theorists with interests in the areas of Exoplanetary Science or Cosmology, and who have the potential to become leaders in their fields.

Robert Atwater

Robert Atwater joined the Board of Trustees of Nehemiah in March 2018. Robert is also a Trustee and Treasurer of the British Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. For Nehemiah, Robert is a member of the Property Group, encouraging and advising the Charity in its search for new properties.

Tim Aikens

Tim Aikens is an independent management consultant based in London. Tim specialises in business transformation and organisation-related work, helping clients to create sustainable change and organisational structures that support their vision and help generate competitive advantage. Whilst his work has primarily been in the energy sector, Tim has worked across a broad range of industries including, telecommunications, public sector, defence, shipbuilding, and engineering, to name but a few. His work in Organisation has covered the full range from visioning, organisational structure, values and behaviours, to culture development and manpower planning. He has also worked in the human resources sector, including management development, training, competency and counselling. For the last twenty years he has worked with most of the major oil companies worldwide. Tim is Chair of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Wandsworth.

Colin Matthews

Colin Matthews joined the Nehemiah board on 21st July 2021.

Our Ambassadors

Richard Steer, Worldwide Chairman of Gleeds

Richard was appointed Chairman of Gleeds in 1999 and has grown the business into a global organisation with 71 offices worldwide. Richard is a champion of Gleeds’ philanthropic work and has generously supported Nehemiah, directing Gala Fundraising Balls and dinners. Richard worked with Nehemiah CEO Dr John Patience and others on ‘Rehabilitation by Design ‘ a paper which explores proposed prison reform in the UK, which was considered at UK government level.

Monsignor Roger Reader

Fr Roger Reader is priest at the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary Magdalen, Willesden Green, London. He was ordained in 1995 and worked full time in prisons from 1998, first as a chaplain at HMP Whitemoor for three years, and then for 12 years at Feltham Young Offenders Institute. Fr Roger worked part-time for six years at HMP Pentonville during his nine years as an Anglican clergyman before converting to Roman Catholicism. He has a passion to see men coming out of prison better supported, and was instrumental in establishing Nehemiah’s partnership with the British Association of the Sovereign Order of Malta.

Family Support

Nehemiah’s Family Support programme helps Residents reconnect with their families, a significant motivator on the journey to recovery.

Our specialist Family Support Worker supports and advises Residents as they begin to take steps to communicate with family members. We know that when Residents have the support of their families, recovery becomes much more sustainable.

In addition, our Family Support Worker delivers support sessions to families in the community who are impacted by addiction.

Please contact Dawn on 07421 358329 or dawn.wilson@tnp.org.uk for more information.

Where We Work

Our Houses



This is an eight-bedroom house with communal facilities and a staff team on site.

The Recovery Programme Team deliver A New Future, our first-stage CBT-based course, here every morning, with some additional courses in the afternoon.

The house is very close to public transport links and is on the 249 and 319 bus routes, and is situated opposite Tooting Bec Common, close to the Lido.



This is a six-bedroom house with communal facilitiCBT-based recovery course, here every morning.

Nehemiah Works

Nehemiah Works is our employment and training programme for Nehemiah Residents, launched in March 2019.  The programme provides pre-employment training, help with CV writing, job applications, interview skills and coaching, so that Residents can live independently and lead more fulfilling lives, which we believe will benefit both Residents themselves, and their families.

Nehemiah Residents often come with years of expertise in a wide range of trades and industry. Our aim is for every Resident to receive as much support as possible to get back into work and training and thus ensure a more sustainable recovery.


2021 Impact Report cover
2021 Impact Report

Nehemiah's impact report for 2021

Rehabilitation by design

Influencing change in prisoner behaviour.

More Information 
Success Mapping Report

This report is a systematic mapping of the stories of success from The Nehemiah Project (TNP), and it aims to identify the unifying factors of transformation in each of the participants’ histories.



Cyber Essentials

Cyber Essentials 2022

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