Clink Charity to open a training restaurant at Brixton prison in mid February (2014)

brixton-prison-restaurant

Anyone who’s scoffed a fabulous Bad Boys Bakery cake from Brixton Prison will know that some prisoners sure know how to rustle up a decent bit of grub – and the good news is that an even bigger food project is coming to the prison, thanks to the Clink Charity.

The charity has announced the launch of a training restaurant at HMP Brixton today, which will see the provision of a 100 seat public restaurant in the old Governor’s house, along with rooms for business meetings and working lunches.

More Prosciutto than porridge, the restaurant will serve high quality food, giving prisoners access to a wide variety of work skills.

Edmond Tullett, Governor, HMP Brixton says: “Brixton is more than delighted to host the third Clink training restaurant in the Regency Roundhouse which dates back to 1819. The restaurant will provide an unforgettable experience for customers and an unrivalled opportunity for prisoners to acquire marketable skills that will lead to local jobs and provide a pathway to a better life.”

Read on for the full press release from the Clink Charity and you can see their existing restaurant at High Down in Belmont/Banstead here.
http://www.theclinkcharity.com/restaurants/high-down/

The Clink Charity prepares for launch of third training restaurant at HMP Brixton

The Clink Charity has today confirmed plans for its third Clink training restaurant. HMP Brixton and The Clink Charity have been granted planning permission to proceed with transforming the old Governors house that has been used recently as administration offices within the grounds of the prison into a three-story restaurant and meetings venue due to open in early 2014.

The restaurant will follow The Clink’s Five Step Programme that has been successfully implemented at the award winning and successful Clink restaurant at HMP High Down in Surrey, educating prisoners and equipping them with the skills and tools to secure employment upon their release.

Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity believes Brixton will cement the future for further Clink restaurants. “Brixton was the perfect site for our next restaurant. HMP Brixton is undergoing a regeneration project and was looking for an organisation to work with to develop the building into an opportunity for rehabilitation. The central location lends itself to securing support from local businesses and members of the public, providing they are committed to The Clink’s vision and once the necessary security checks have been processed, providing real-life experience for those prisoners who make it through the selection process to join the programme.”

In 2012 The Charity agreed a partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS) who supports the charitable initiative in a bid to open a further seven Clink Restaurants over the next four years. The charity is solely reliant on the generous support of the industry, charitable trusts and philanthropic individuals to build future Clink restaurants and each training restaurant relies on the income from diners and donations to operate.

Edmond Tullett, Governor, HMP Brixton says: “Brixton is more than delighted to host the third Clink training restaurant in the Regency Roundhouse which dates back to 1819. The restaurant will provide an unforgettable experience for customers and an unrivalled opportunity for prisoners to acquire marketable skills that will lead to local jobs and provide a pathway to a better life.”

In addition to the 100 seat restaurant, the building will also include rooms for business meetings and working lunches. Providing five rooms for companies to organise ‘phone free’ meetings, without interruption, will provide vital income for the charity to continue to operate the restaurant. AV equipment will be available for use and the meetings will operate the same way as any other commercial meeting venue in London, whilst providing additional experience to prisoners looking for employment upon their release.

Reoffending is one of the most pressing challenges facing society today. We know that there is a clear link between unemployment and increased rates of reoffending.

Prisons Minister Jeremy Wright says: “”This is a great partnership, which gives offenders the chance to learn skills that can help them secure employment once they leave prison.

“We know reoffending rates are unacceptably high and it’s through projects like this that we can help them build a strong work ethic that will ultimately enable them to turn their backs on crime.”

In addition to helping reduce reoffending The Clink Charity also aims to change the public’s perception about prison and the opportunities to rehabilitate prisoners effectively. In 2012, The Clink Cymru and The Clink HMP High Down welcomed over 15,000 diners to their restaurants.

New Year update: The Brixton Clink Restaurant is expected to open in mid February. More news soon.