£6m secured to roll out The Clink Kitchens

The Julia and Hans Rausing Trust has committed to funding The Clink Charity with £6m over 3 years in order to roll out The Clink Kitchens.

The Clink Kitchens is the latest programme developed by The Clink Charity as part of their Clink Integrated Rehabilitation Programme (CIRP). For the first time in custodial services, the sector is driving the training and shaping the work experience for the individuals looking to enter the hospitality industry.

The Clink Charity has been working in partnership with HMPPS for the past 11 years delivering the unique integrated training programme to prisoners on the inside and on release. The Clink Charity continues to work and support Clink Graduates upon release, helping them reintegrate back into society and full time employment.

The Clink Kitchens project is being fully funded by The Clink Charity due to the generosity and support of grant-maintaining trusts and philanthropists including Julia and Hans Rausing, Porticus, and Sandy and Sue Arbuthnot over a 3-year commitment.

Julia and Hans Rausing said, “We are pleased to be able to support the Clink Charity as it rolls out its Clink Kitchens programme across so many more prisons. The Charity has a built a brilliant track record over the last 11 years providing people with new opportunities and qualifications that can genuinely turn their lives around and in turn reduce reoffending rates.”

Christopher Moore, Clink Charity Chief Executive, commented, “Through the generosity of Julia and Hans Rausing we are able to roll out The Clink Kitchens project over the next 3 years to 70 prisons in England and Wales which will enable us to continue to repair society.

'The Clink, in partnership with HMPPS, changes attitudes, transforms lives and creates second chances by training serving prisoners during their sentence and then helping them reintegrate back into society, employment and accommodation upon release. Reoffending remains one of the most pressing challenges facing society today. The economic and social cost of reoffending is £18.1bn per annum.”

Clink training
All Clink training projects replicate a real-life working environment on the inside whilst the students work towards gaining their City and Guilds National Vocational Qualifications Levels 1, 2 and 3. Students gain soft skills such as learning to work as part of a team, growing in confidence and improving their communication skills. The students train up to 35 hours per week, preparing them to be ‘work ready’ upon release.

Supported by HMPPS, The Clink will deliver training in up to 70 prisons over the next 3 years. This will enable up to 2,000 men and women in prisons to achieve qualifications in hospitality and gain employment upon release, proven to dramatically reduce reoffending.

This new programme will be delivered in the main prison kitchens by Clink Kitchens trainers and assessors who are all hospitality industry professionals. Headed up by Gregg Brown, Director of Training and working alongside Jane Sanderson, Operations Director, the course will be available for prisoners to volunteer for training whilst working in the prison kitchens preparing and cooking over 80k hot meals a day for their fellow prisoners.

The Clink Integrated Rehabilitation Programme (CIRP) is a unique programme which remains with the student at every stage of their training. From working with students on the inside to meeting graduates at the gate upon release, The Clink Charity ensures each Clink Graduate is supported in the community for a minimum of 12 months.

The hugely successful collaboration between The Clink Charity and HMPPS is now able to replicate and scale up the learnings of CIRP over the past 11 years. The Clink will be able to increase the number of students daily from 220 to 800 a day.

Reducing reoffending
Nationally, 48% of those released from prison go on to reoffend within the first 12 months of release. The Clink Charity was set up to break this cycle and in turn, support the hospitality industry.

The Clink 5 step integrated training programme trains prisoners in their last 6 to 18 months of their sentence. Upon release Clink Graduates are placed into full time employment and accommodation.

Recent independent research conducted by the Justice Data Lab and the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) in July 2019 states that prisoners participating in The Clink Charity’s CIRP training programme are 32% less likely to reoffend than those who did not go through the programme.

Pro Bono Economics (PBE) published an economic impact report in June 2020 that revealed that The Clink Charity’s prisoner training programme delivers an outstanding return on investment. For every £1 invested, The Clink is likely to generate at least £4.80 back to the prison service, government and society in reduced reoffending rates as a result of its CIRP programme.

The hospitality industry skills shortage
The hospitality industry is the 4th largest employer of labour in the UK (6m people) and there is a major skills shortage. Sadly, due to Brexit, this has created a lot more vacancies and it is estimated that 300,000 industry professionals have returned to Europe over the past 18 months.

At the same time due to the pandemic some workers have had the experience of working in other trades and do not plan to return to the industry. We are confident that we have a credible solution to this by introducing highly trained work ready Clink Graduates upon release from prison to employers.

The roll out
Over the last month Clink Kitchens training has started to be delivered at –
HMP Bristol
HMP Styal
HMP Eastwood Park
HMP Brixton
HMP Downview

The Clink is actively recruiting chef trainers and support workers over the next 3 months in order for Clink Kitchens to start training at the next 18 prisons. This will take the number of Clink Kitchens Training programmes to 24 by the end of 2021. There are another 36 sites being planned for 2022.