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The Clink Restaurant at HMP Styal gears up for official opening as prisoner training commences

With little over a month to go until The Clink Restaurant opens at HMP Styal in Cheshire The Clink Charity, the initiative behind the prisoner training restaurants, has released details of the new menu as it prepares to open to the public on Thursday 30th April 2015. Bookings for the unique dining experience are now being taken and the team has already seen huge numbers reserve tables in a bid to be one of the first people to experience Cheshire’s latest restaurant.

The charity’s executive chef team has developed the menu to reflect the restaurant group’s ethos of sustainable, seasonal food that is based on classic British cooking with a modern twist added. Dishes on the spring menu include asparagus, spring onion, broad beans, peas and shaved Parmesan to start, spring lamb neck fillet and rump, mini fondant potatoes, wild garlic purée, charred spring onions and purple sprouting broccoli to follow and lemon posset, mini meringues, shortbread and basil sorbet to finish.

The women prisoners training in the restaurant officially began their training this month working towards gaining nationally recognised City & Guilds NVQs in food preparation and food service, under the guidance of experienced trainers and assessors. This is the first Clink Restaurant to operate within a women’s prison, the opening marks a significant milestone in the charity’s growth as it moves into prisons in the north of England.

John Hewitson, Governor of HMP Styal commented on the opening, “We are delighted to welcome this exciting partnership with The Clink Charity which I am certain 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 public an opportunity to see first-hand how we're helping to prepare the women for release. All of the women in Styal will be returning to their communities at some point and it is vital that when they do they are better prepared to lead a law-abiding life than when they came into custody."

With the sole aim of reducing prisoner reoffending, The Clink Charity mentors each graduate weekly for a further six to 12 months, once training is completed and prisoners are released, supporting them in finding full time employment.

Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity, added, “The launch of The Clink Restaurant at HMP Styal is testament to the ongoing success of the charity and its positive influence on the national rehabilitation of prisoners. This is the first restaurant we will operate in a women’s prison and through the use of The Clink’s Five Step Model of recruitment, training, support, employment and mentoring, we are contributing to the reduction in prisoner reoffending in the UK by training up to 30 prisoners at a time in the restaurant and kitchen. Each year we hope to release at least 50 trained and qualified women into employment within the hospitality industry.”

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