The Story So Far
The first Clink Restaurant opens at HMP High Down in Surrey, when Alberto Crisci MBE, then catering manager, identifies the need for formal training, qualifications and support for prisoners in finding a job after release. Alberto is supported by the (then) Governor of HMP High Down, Peter Dawson, and founder trustees Finlay Scott, Kevin McGrath, Lady Edwina Grosvenor and Kate Quigley-Ruby.
The Bromley Gardens opens at HMP High Down with six poly tunnels and a glass house offering space for prisoners to train in horticulture and produce up to three quarters of the vegetables and herbs used in The Clink Restaurants. As part of High Down’s commitment to sustainability, 50 tonnes of food waste is composted each year and 2,500 litres of used fryer oil is converted into bio-diesel to run the prison vehicles.
The first Clink Restaurant proves successful in the drive to reduce reoffending and the second restaurant opens at HMP Cardiff in Cardiff – the first restaurant to be located outside prison walls. It works alongside HMP Prescoed to offer over 30 Category D prisoners from HMP Prescoed and HMP Cardiff full-time work within the kitchen, restaurant and gardens.
Clink Events is launched to provide external catering for cocktail parties and receptions. Canapés are freshly prepared in Clink Restaurant kitchens by prisoners and we engage with like-minded charities, such as Centrepoint, where we train their homeless clients in food service skills.
The third Clink Restaurant opens at HMP Brixton. Brixton follows The Clink’s Five Step Programme, which has been successfully implemented at both of the previous Clink Restaurants, to educate prisoners and equip them with the skills and tools to secure employment upon their release.
The Clink enters into a women’s prison for the first time, launching The Clink Gardens at HMP Send, Surrey. The project provides prisoners with the opportunity to gain experience and City & Guilds NVQs in horticulture. Prisoners grow, cultivate and harvest crops and rear chickens for their eggs. The produce is transported to The Clink Restaurants at other prisons for use in the training kitchens.
Recruit – Train – Audit – Employ – Mentor
Building starts at our fourth prisoner training restaurant, The Clink Restaurant at HMP Styal in Cheshire, to transform the century old, disused chapel within the prison grounds into a 100 seat restaurant with private dining spaces for up to 24 people.
The Clink Restaurant at HMP Styal officially opened to the public on 30th April 2015 as the first Clink Restaurant in a women’s prison and the first in the north of England.
The Clink Canapé Cookbook, a first for the charity, goes on sale with all proceeds going towards developing more prisoner rehabilitation schemes across Her Majesty’s Prison Estate. The cookbook presents 100 canapé recipes carefully crafted by Clink Events, Clink trainees and graduates, ambassadors and friends of the charity.
The Clink held its first ever fundraising ball raising a staggering £47K. The money has been re-invested into the charity’s work to reduce reoffending rates through the provision of accredited City & Guilds NVQ training and assessment in food preparation and food service.
The Clink Quick & Easy Cookbook, the charity’s second published cookbook, goes on sale with all proceeds going towards developing more prisoner rehabilitation schemes across Her Majesty’s Prison Estate.
The cookbook presents 85 recipes for the home cooks that are short of time, with recipes carefully crafted by The Clink Restaurant concept founder Alberto Crisci MBE along with friends and ambassadors of The Clink Charity.
The Clink Charity operates prisoner training schemes in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service. Together we are focused on providing purposeful training environments prisoners can learn the self-discipline, the skills and the habits which will prepare them for employment once released.
We can produce around 50 graduates a year per training unit. In order to change more lives we require more Clink projects. We have committed to operating 20 Clink projects by 2020 which will see up to 1,000 highly trained and qualified ex-offenders being released into employment each year.
To do this the Clink Charity needs to raise £8 million – we therefore continue to rely on generous donations from grant-making trusts, the general public and businesses.