Pioneering prisoner rehabilitation enterprise The Clink Charity received the ‘Education & Training Award’ and the coveted title of ‘Overall Award for Excellence’ at Civil Society Media’s The Charity Awards, held last night (Thursday 8 June 2017) at a black tie ceremony at The Pavilion in the grounds of the Tower of London.

Celebrating the work of grassroots charities across Britain, the awards, hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin, recognise The Clink’s effective and innovative approach to reducing reoffending rates of ex-offenders. A report, conducted by Justice Data Lab and the Ministry of Justice, provides evidence of this positive impact showing a 41% reduction in the likelihood of reoffending for those prisoners participating in the programme.

Forming the foundation of its award-winning entry, this “statistically significant” result is testament to the charity’s continuous hard work and dedication to making a positive change through meaningful activity, education and mentoring support.

Since launching in 2010, The Clink Charity has garnered unwavering recognition from the hospitality industry, philanthropic businesses and the world’s socially conscious diners, and the concept is expanding across Her Majesty’s Prison Estate as a result of this valuable support.

Commenting on the charity’s latest award success, Finlay Scott, chairman of The Clink Charity, said:

“The issue of reoffending has become one of the most pressing challenges facing society today and it’s more important than ever that we look at ways to reduce reoffending rates and give more people the chance to transform their life for the benefit of themselves, their family and society as a whole.

“I would like to thank chief executive of The Clink Charity Christopher Moore and his whole team for this amazing achievement. This is a result of his outstanding leadership and the hard work, dedication and support of the entire Clink team; the continued support of our partners the Ministry of Justice and Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service; our admirable Clink graduates and current trainees; and the supportive general public. Each individual involved has played an integral part in helping us achieve so much and change so many misconceptions of prisoner rehabilitation.

“Special thanks also go to our generous donors for their support, which has made our continued expansion possible, our industry ambassadors who fly our flag and the forward-thinking companies we work with to provide our graduates with employment opportunities.

“We are humbled by this recognition and look forward to continuing our great work in reducing reoffending by keeping people out of prison, ultimately making our communities safer places to be.”

Andrew Hind, chair of The Charity Awards judges, commented:

“The Clink Charity impressed the judges very much. This is a charity addressing one of the great social problems we have – the number of people leaving and then returning to prison.

“The charity has built a powerful network of support across the private, public and voluntary sectors, and shown that using a model of support and training, we can radically change lives.

“The charity has delivered fantastic results, and pioneered a model we would love to see replicated elsewhere in the sector.”

John Low, chief executive of Charities Aid Foundation, overall partner of the Charity Awards, added:

“The Charity Awards celebrate the inspiring work of people who make the world a better place.

“Recognising the remarkable work and impact of charities is an important aspect of preserving and building on Britain’s proud culture of generosity and civil action.

“The organisations we celebrate at these awards lead by their example in showing bravery and dynamism at a time when demand on charities is growing, society is becoming more divided and resources are becoming increasingly stretched.

“These are all inspirational examples of the amazing work done by charities in communities all over the UK and across the world. Our congratulations go out to all of them.”

With The Clink Gardens and Clink Events adding to its four prisoner training restaurants and a further three projects due to be announced over the next 12 months, the charity is on track to achieve its target of training and releasing more than 1,000 highly trained Clink graduates released into employment each year, helping to address the UK’s hospitality skills shortage by providing those who deserve a second chance the opportunity to transform the lives of themselves and their families.