Season 9 Episode 7 

We ate at a Prison Restaurant – where the food is cooked and served by inmates!!

Get ready as today we venture out of the studio (and out of our comfort zone!) to tell you all about our weird and wonderful dining experience. We headed to The Clink, a restaurant INSIDE Brixton Prison that is solely run by inmates whose sentences are nearly up. The inmates enrol in a programme to learn valuable skills they can take with them into the outside world, and evidence shows they are less likely to re-offend once they’ve completed it. The food industry can make an amazing difference to communities and we want to know what you think about it! Would you be open to dining in prison and supporting programmes like this? Tell us all about your experiences if you have been to one already, or let us know if you disagree with them. Comment below so we can get chatting!

Best soundbite“This was the hardest part bit. The most gorgeous well trained dog came up to sniff us… and we weren’t allowed to pet him!” – Ben Ebbrell

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Each of the programmes (from food and hospitality to horticulture) are teaching core skills to better the learners and give them valuable lessons before they leave. Would you go and visit?

Further Stats On the Clink Program:

  • 44% of prisoners who are released return to prison within a year.
  • Learners who have gone through the program are 50% less likely to reoffend.
  •  Located at Her Majesty’s Prison in Brixton, in partnership with The Ministry of Justice and the Prison Service, it’s staffed by 15 chefs and 15 waiters… all serving prisoners, training to get their GNVQ in Food and Hospitality.
  • Currently #12 of 17k restaurant in London based on TripAdviser!
  • The menu is seasonal and changes 5 times a year, making use of local produce, some of which is grown by another arm of the charity… where prisoners are training in GNVQ in Horticulture.
  • Everything is made from scratch… sourdough breads, pastas, soups, sauces, crabs come in whole, ice creams, etc etc
  • Chairs and leather in the restaurant are made by prisoners.
  • Poetry on the walls and artwork is made by prisoners.
  • 100,000 guests through the charity (multiple sites) in a single year.
  • Training 200 prisoners at the moment.

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