The Clink Charity announced on 1 February that the second annual Clink Ball, which took place at the Lancaster London Hyde Park last December had raised £30,000 through ticket sales and a raffle. The money will help the charity take its mission to change attitudes to prisoners and creating second chances even further.
The Clink has shown how equipping prisoners with skills and knowledge can be an effective way to reduce re-offending rates. While working in a Clink Restaurant, prisoners gain experience within an exciting, operational business and receive in-depth guidance to find full-time employment within the hospitality industry once released. Each prisoner who works in a Clink Restaurant studies for accredited NVQs in food preparation, foodservice and cleaning.
“Following in the footsteps of last year’s inaugural Clink Ball, we’re delighted to see that so many supporters and industry names have returned for a second year or chosen to support the ball for the first time,” said Chris Moore, chief executive of The Clink Charity. “The amount that we have been able to raise through the generosity of our guests takes us one step closer towards achieving our ambitious plans that will see more than 1,000 highly trained hospitality professionals released from prison each year, a critical move in helping to fill the severe skills gap the industry is currently facing.”
Vic Laws FCSI, MBE, who has worked closely with the Clink as a restaurant ambassador attended along with chef ambassadors including Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL. On the night 350 guests were treated to a dinner created by Ben Purton, executive chef and director of F&B at the Lancaster London.
“This is my second year chairing the Ball Committee and we are all delighted with the proceeds that have been raised and particularly thankful of the support of our sponsors, particularly Bookers, Bidvest and Nayati,” says Laws. “The money raised will go toward supporting our trainees and graduates to ensure that re-offending rates are kept down and we continue the success that we have achieved over the last seven years.”
The programme has a clearly stated mission to develop long term careers in the hospitality sector. Clink graduate Andrew spoke to the room about how he had turned his life around with the help of The Clink Charity. “We used to be in the business of making people unhappy. Now, thanks to The Clink Charity, we’re very much in the business of making people happy,” he said. “Working under the guidance of my mentor and in an environment of positivity and hope, the Clink has provided me with a second chance at life, transforming the lives of not just myself, but also my friends, family and society as a whole, and for that I will be forever grateful.”