Funding level: £10,001 to £25,000


The concept of Ghost Academy is a holistic training provision working with girls and women, who face multiple barriers to accessing mainstream education, training and employment opportunities.
This includes girls and women with a history of offending; at risk from gangs; in substance misuse recovery, Long term unemployment, Mental health, Social services interventions, Low self esteem and victims of domestic abuse amongst others.
The programme aim is to deliver a personal development and training opportunity for those women to gain a qualification in a commercial salon, whilst providing all the additional support that the group would need to enable them to move forward in their lives, gain skills and access employment opportunities.

With a strong emphasis on multi agency partnership working Ghost Academy adopts a holistic approach to working with learners by supporting them in all areas of their lives and addressing issues which may be preventing them from taking positive steps forward and also providing robust progression support.

Ghost Academy is an excellent model of a gender specific project which is driven by Sam’s determination, fearlessness and commitment to providing individually tailored support that addresses each woman’s unique needs. With a focus on developing wider opportunities for vulnerable women, enabling access to additional services and interventions and empowering them to make positive changes in their lives.
The phenomenal amount of personal tailored support they receive from Ghost has enabled the women to problem solve, build resilience and find ways to support each other. Even after the first couple of weeks on the course, many of them say they cannot believe the positive change in their lives.

Ghost Academy is not merely a hairdressing course; it is a lifeline for women who felt that they had limited hopes for the future, no opportunities or a useful role in society.
As the pilot funding came to an end, Sam is giving her time and the resources of the salon for free to continue delivering level 2, demonstrating her commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable and less fortunate women in the area.

"Ghost Academy is a valuable resource, providing a pathway for female offenders which will improve outcomes for vulnerable women and women in the criminal justice system and directly contribute to a reduction" Susan Cade LBBD Female offender manager

Some of the things our ladies have said.....

“I knew I had to deal with the DV. It had an effect on kids and now they are more balanced and happy!” 

“My life is changed. I’ve been housed, DV is under control and I’m single and Probation is complete” 

“I’m clean and working towards seeing the kids. Still on probation but I’m attending now”

“I’m bonding with my kids and partner. I’ve not run away from the family home since Ghost"

“I’m working with social services towards having my daughter home. I’ve attended all my probation and KCA appointments. I’ve achieved so much; I passed Ghost, peaced together and sew successful courses”
“I’m staying away from my abusive partner. I’m getting support and looking to be relocated. The kids are spending far more time at home, No drugs or alcohol and I’m attending all appointments with CRI and probation”

“I can’t believe how far I’ve come. I love hairdressing!”

Ghost Academy CIC

Moment of Pride

“I’ve been re-housed and my kids are coming home. I’ve got lots more contact with my kids and restrictions have been taken off so I’m allowed to take them all day anywhere I choose. I’m drug free and single!”

“I’m much more confident”

Location: London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, United Kingdom