Following the opening of The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton in February this year and the recent launch of The Clink Gardens at HMP Send, the charity is halfway to achieving its goal of 10 facilities in operation by the end of 2017.
Reaching this target will see more than 500 highly trained and qualified foodservice professionals enter employment each year through the use of The Clink’s Five Step Model – Recruit, Train, Audit, Employ and Mentor.
The announcement of The Clink Restaurant at HMP Styal is a clear sign of the charity’s substantial growth as it moves into prisons in the north of England. The latest restaurant will also be the first in a prison for women offering women prisoners the opportunity to gain experience and nationally recognised City & Guilds NVQ qualifications in cooking, cleaning and food service, which will benefit them significantly when reintegrating back into society.
Female reoffending is as pressing an issue as male reoffending. With almost 4,000 women in prison across the UK and a reoffending rate of 50%, within the first year of release, female reoffending is marginally above the national reoffending rate of 46.9%. The Clink Charity research has shown reduction in reoffending, with a rate of just 12.5% for those training in The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down. With the sole aim of reducing reoffending, the charity has seen phenomenal success since the first training restaurant opened in May 2009, receiving numerous awards and support from high profile industry players such as Albert Roux OBE, group chef ambassador.
Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity adds, "Opening the Restaurant at HMP Styal strengthens The Clink's commitment to reduce reoffending rates. It also means that we can increase our training efforts to continue to bridge the skills gap in the hospitality industry. We’ve seen such positive results from the projects currently in action and with the concept being expanded across the prison estate; we hope to continue seeing a decrease in reoffending rates with support from businesses and the public."
Governor of HMP Styal John Hewitson said: "We are pleased to welcome this exciting partnership with The Clink Charity which will help us get more women into employment and, in turn, help reduce the risk of reoffending. When the restaurant opens, it will give the community an opportunity to see first-hand how we’re helping to prepare these women for release."