Organised by The Longford Trust, a charity set up to celebrate the achievements of campaigner Lord Longford, the aim of the Longford Lecture is to raise questions of social and penal reform. Sponsored by The Telegraph and hosted by renowned broadcaster Jon Snow, this year’s speaker will be Nils Öberg, director of Sweden's prison service, who will discuss how the country is closing prisons and reducing the prison population.
The Longford Lecture, held in association with the Prison Reform Trust, has been held at Church House Conference Centre since it was launched in 2002. The first Longford Lecture was delivered by Cherie Booth QC, and other speakers have included Bianca Jagger, Martha Lane Fox, Sir Ian Blair, Sir Hugh Orde, Mary McAleese, Clive Stafford Smith, Baroness Hale of Richmond, Will Self and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The 2014 Longford Lecture also marks the 5th anniversary of the partnership between the Longford Lecture and The Clink Charity. Through the partnership and the launch of the charity’s new event catering project – Clink Events, prisoners training at The Clink Restaurant at HMP Brixton and HMP High Down will prepare 4,000 canapés for the event before they are delivered to Church House by 3663 who support The Clink in their work. The sole aim of the charity is to reduce re-offending rates by training and placing graduates into employment in the hospitality industry with the support of its ex-offender career mentoring scheme. The food will be served to guests by ex-offenders who have graduated from The Clink’s training scheme along with 12 candidates from Centrepoint - the UK’s leading young homeless charity - who receive four hours of intensive training on the day and receive a certificate of achievement at the end.
Robin Parker, General Manager of Church House Conference Centre, comments: “We have had a long association with The Longford Lecture. It always attracts a capacity audience due to the high calibre of speakers, and we expect this year will be no different. We are also pleased to continue our association with The Clink, who will once again provide the canapés for the evening. It is the fifth year they have been involved in the delivery of the event, and their involvement with the Longford Lecture is a great way to highlight the good work being done in prisons.”
Chris Moore, Chief Executive of The Clink Charity, added: “It is a privilege to be asked to supply the canapés for The Longford Lecture for the fifth year in a row. It’s high praise for the prisoners who have trained previously, and who are training and working currently, in The Clink. Being able to cater for events on this scale is excellent experience for the trainee chefs as it allows them to expand their skills and knowledge even further. We look forward to working with The Longford Trust for many years to come, its ongoing relationships such as this that supports the work of The Clink Charity and enables us to continue reducing reoffending rates through training, education and rehabilitation.”