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Charity Offering Prisoners A Second Chance Through Careers In Catering Wins National Award

A charity that gives offenders a second chance through offering training and careers in hospitality and catering has been honoured with a national award.

The Clink Charity was named runner up in the Learning and Development Programme of the Year category at the Inspire Justice Awards, delivered by Skills for Justice.

The Clink Charity was set up in 2009 with the aim of reducing reoffending through the training and rehabilitation of people in prison, operating dedicated training kitchens and fine-dining restaurants at HMPs Brixton, High Down and Styal.

Since 2009, The Clink Charity has trained in excess of 400 prisoners across HMPs Brixton, High Down and Styal alone, with more than half of those enrolled receiving National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) awarded by City & Guilds.

In 2021 the charity rolled out its ‘Clink Kitchens’ initiative to expand the available training on offer to more and more prisoners across England and Wales. Clink Kitchens see students from 30 sites across the country train towards NVQ Levels 1 and 2 in Food Preparation and Cookery in their existing prison kitchens. 50 training places have been created so far and by the end of 2022 over 200 men and women had trained on the scheme.

Accepting the award, The Clink Charity Chief Executive Yvonne Thomas said:

“Through our continued partnership with His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, The Clink Charity is able to deliver extraordinary outcomes for individuals and society at large.

“We helped to secure employment for 70% of our graduates by the end of 2022, whereas the overall rate for the general prison population is 17%.

“This just goes to show how effective vocational training can be at helping people to turn their lives around and reducing reoffending, and I am delighted that our efforts are being celebrated and recognised.”