Philemon UK was established as a charity in England and Wales in 2004 by Howard Satterthwaite, Peng Voong, Audrey Brown, Andrew Rigden Green and Mhairi Dear. It has been supporting Philemon Kenya ever since, through prayer, moral support and encouragement, profile and awareness raising and technical and financial assistance.
Howard first met Kelvin Mwikya, Philemon Kenya's founder, whilst working to set up a prison legal aid and education programme in Kenya's prisons on behalf of the Kenya Christian Lawyers' Fellowship in 2003.
To the suprise of many Kenyans, Kelvin was able to facilitate Howard and many others gaining entry into Kenya's prisons when previously prison doors had been closed. Kelvin and Howard became close friends, such that Kelvin encouraged Howard to support Philemon Kenya when he returned to the UK.
In June 2003, Kelvin and Howard arranged for a team of UK Christian law students to visit the half-way home and to meet with the home's residents and listen to their stories and testimonies. Many were challenged by what they heard and subsequently became trustees (Andrew Rigden Green, Audrey Brown, Mhairi Dear in 2004).
One of these students, Luke Fletcher, was so inspired that he returned to Kenya 12 months later to intern with the Kenya Christian Lawyers' Fellowship and work alongside Philemon Kenya before becoming a trustee in 2006.
The Philemon UK board currently consists of Andrew MacKay (Chair, pictured with Kelvin), Stephanie Biden, Lee Bronze, Bryan Charter, Lucy Rhodes and Phil Wren.