The Clink Charity
The CLINK Charity, located in London, is a culinary training program for prisoners in the U.K. Following the success of the first Clink restaurant at HMP High Down, a second was opened at HMP Cardiff in 2012. There have since been an additional two restaurants opened, with The Clink restaurant at HMP Brixton opening in 2014 and the fourth training restaurant opening at HMP Styal in Cheshire in April 2015.
Prisoners at each of The Clink Restaurants work a 40-hour week whilst gaining City & Guilds NVQs in food preparation and front-of-house service. Simulating a professional working environment, prisoners with six to 18 months of their sentence left to serve are carefully selected for the programme, going through full-time training in order to reach the required level to succeed in their respective industry.
To ensure the success of the programme, The Clink Charity was launched in 2010 to develop a five-step model that could be applied across more prisons across the country and to further expand The Clink restaurant concept.
The five-step model focuses on recruitment, training, supporting, mentoring and employment and has dramatically reduced the reoffending rate of those who have been part of the training programme.
The Clink Charity’s dedicated mentors work closely with each of the prisoners working across the training sites. Upon release, the mentors help graduates find employment, and once successfully employed they mentor them weekly for six to 12 months, to help them reintegrate back into society.
The Clink Gardens began at HMP Send in 2014 where women prisoners work to gain experience and achieve City & Guilds NVQ qualifications in horticulture. The fruit, vegetables and herbs produced from the gardens are delivered to the restaurants along with eggs from the chickens the women are also responsible for.
Dinner Service at HMP Brixton
HMP Brixton (the restaurant is on the upper level)