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The Clink Charity has been shortlisted for the Association of Catering Excellence’s, ACE Sustains Corporate Award. The ceremony will be held on Wednesday 17th July at the annual ACE Summer Event at The Crystal, London’s landmark building, dedicated to improving urban sustainability.
The award recognises “the company that is best able to demonstrate their commitment to supporting sustainability in the wider foodservice sector through one or several ethical and sustainable initiatives applied throughout their business” so to be shortlisted is a great achievement and a big ‘pat on the back’ for our many green initiatives.
These include the Bromley Gardens, at HMP High Down, that provides up to 75% of the restaurants vegetables, herbs and salads, 10 prisoner-built bee hives within the prison grounds that produce organic honey, composting 50 tonnes of food waste a year, converting up to 2,500 litres of fryer oil into bio-diesel to run the Bromley Glasshouse heating system and the prison’s horticultural equipment and vehicles. There is also a wind turbine that produces 900kw hours of electricity a year.
On Monday 11th May 2009, The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down first opened its doors to the public following many years of development by Chef Alberto Crisci, founder. The Clink’s five step programme is the key to ensuring that the reoffending rates of our Clink graduates are so low.
The Clink Charity has gone from strength-to-strength over the past few years with the charity’s second restaurant, The Clink Cymru at HMP Cardiff, opening in September 2012. Plans are underway to open a third restaurant over the next year and to have 10 restaurants in operation across the prison estate by 2017.
Since opening, there have been a number of milestones, achievements and memorable moments for The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down. Here are just a few of them…
- We have served over 50,000 customers in total
- The restaurant has won over 20 awards
- Reduced the reoffending rate of prisoners training in the restaurant from 47% (national average) to 12.5% (2011 rate)
- Appointed Antonio Carluccio, Giorgio Locatelli and Stephen Terry as Chef Ambassadors and Vic Laws, Julie Peasgood and Kate Quigley Ruby as Restaurant Ambassadors
- In 2013, the Conference Centre at HMP High Down was opened as part of the restaurant’s events resources
2013 has already been very successful for us and we currently have 40 prisoners training in the restaurant, kitchen and farms and gardens, with a further 12 training in recycling and industrial cleaning.
22/05/13Success Story – Meet Michael
Released from prison on 31st August 2012, Michael (aged 25) is a successful graduate from The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down.
Now working at one of the Thistle Hotels in London, within the meetings and events team, Michael has become a valuable member of staff, working full-time, having impressed the hotel manager with his dedication, time-keeping and immaculate presentation.
Michael’s new career began, following his release from prison, where he had served a one year sentence for burglary. During his imprisonment he had a lot of time to reflect upon his misspent past which Michael became determined to change for the better, if not for him then for his son, Frankie, who was born when Michael was 18 year old.
Finding out about The Clink Charity and the training prospects available, Michael could see this was an opportunity he wanted to grab hold of with both hands. Having successfully joined the front-of-house team, gaining NVQ levels 1, 2 & 3, Michael was then given the support and mentoring he needed upon his release to find suitable work within the hospitality industry. The support ranged from workshops designed to improve confidence and motivation, one on one mentor support, interview practice and techniques, knowledge of the hospitality industry through tours or taster days at top London hotels, and group activities and events that enable students to network and engage with top hoteliers within the industry.
Michael demonstrated enthusiasm that was second to none and his determination to make a better life for him and his son was instantly recognised. Given the help he needed to build a CV and cover letter, Michael was also given a disclosure for future employers which helped him secure a trial shift at the Thistle Hotel, within the meetings and events department. The hotel was ideally located for Michael, living in South London, and upon research it was discovered that Michael was able to work night and early morning shifts as he could take the night bus and be at work within 30 minutes from stepping out his front door.
Michael was successful in his interview and was invited to start a two-week trial, on Monday 10th December 2012, to prove his capabilities. Never being late for a shift, a smart appearance and demonstrating his reliability through hard-work and covering extra shifts, resulted in Michael securing himself a full-time position at the hotel.
Almost six months on, Michael is a key member of the meeting and events team and enjoying every minute of it.
22/05/13New Menus for Summer 2013
Our new season summer menus, created by Al and the team, went live last week at The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down and will be available at The Clink Cymru at HMP Cardiff from Monday 3rd June.
Created with the wealth of delicious, seasonal goodies available in mind, the menus offer a taste of summer, using locally sourced and British ingredients that are in their prime, including strawberries, salmon, cherries and courgettes.
Choose from a range of starters that include a trio of smoked fish pâté: mackerel, salmon & haddock with buttered toast & watercress salad or handmade ravioli with fresh herbs & cream cheese, woodland mushrooms & truffle foam.
Main courses include a trio of English pork: sticky pork belly & mustard mash, pulled pork in barbeque sauce with mixed salad leaves and a pork & apple meatball with apple sauce served with seasonal vegetables, and for fish fanatics – grilled fillets of South Coast megrim sole meunière with shrimp butter, minted new potatoes & seasonal vegetables.
This season’s puddings are a real treat too with a celebration of English strawberries – a trio of strawberry themed puds and a mouthwatering baked raspberry & white chocolate cheesecake joining the menu. The ever popular cheese board is also being served.
To view a sample of the new season menus, please click here.
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Alberto Crisci Ambassador Anton Mosimann Awards Award win Award Wins Brian Turner Cardiff Prison Christmas City Hall Event Clink expansion Cyrus Todiwala Donate Ex-Offenders in Employment Farms and Gardens Food Fundraising dinner Fundraising lunch Gifts Giorgio Locatelli Graduate Stories Graduate Update Hotelympia 10k Hotelympia 2012 Institute of Hospitality Julie Peasgood Menus Merchandise New Menus New Restaurant New Year Reducing Reoffending rehabilitation Results Retail Seasonal Food Social Enterprise Sponsor Statistics Success Stories Sustainability Sustainable The Clink Charity The Clink Restaurant at HMP High Down Training