Clink to open first restaurant run by women this month

The Clink Charity will open its fourth prisoner training restaurant on 30 April, at HMP Styal in Cheshire. The charity’s first restaurant to operate within a women’s prison marks a significant milestone in the charity’s growth as it moves into prisons in the north of England.

The latest restaurant will train up to 30 women prisoners at a time in both cooking and front of house service, working in a true-to-life environment, under the guidance of experienced trainers to achieve nationally recognised City & Guilds NVQs.

The Clink Restaurant at HMP Styal will offer diners a similar experience to The Clink Restaurant at HMP Cardiff as the restaurant is situated within the prison grounds but outside the prison walls meaning it will open to the public for lunch Monday to Friday, with evening and weekend opening times to be introduced later in the year.

In partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service (HMPS), The Clink Charity aims to have 10 training facilities and projects in operation across the prison estate by the end of 2017.

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.“

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.”