The Clink Charity New Year Ball 2018

I was delighted to be invited to attend The Clink Charity New Year Ball 2018. This was held at the newly refurbished and renamed Royal Lancaster London.

This annual charity fund raiser highlights the great work that the Clink Charity carries out. Working in partnership with Her Majesty’s Prison Service they train hospitality service skills to aid rehabilitation. Giving inmates the opportunity to work in their Clink Restaurants and engage with the public. Their focus is on reducing reoffending rates.

Pictured left to right – Antonio Fernandes FIH, Tony – Clink Graduate, Monica Or FIH, Vic Laws MBE

During the evening I met with Tony, one of their Clink graduates. I recognised Tony and could not think of where I had seen him before. It was only when I was speaking to him I realised that he was my waiter when I had lunch at the RAC Club in Epsom the other week. The number of hospitality businesses that support these graduates is fantastic. You never know, you could be being served by a Clink graduate too.

With over 400 guests in attendance,  the meal was served by students from Westminster Kingsway, Bromley, Lambeth, UWL Catering Colleges, Clink Graduates and Trainees from Centrepoint and cooked by the student chefs.  For many of them this was the first time serving at such an event. Throughout the night we heard inspiring stories from those who had found their paths through the assistance the Clink Charity had given them.

As well as exquisite food and drink, there were a host of amazing raffle prizes. I was the lucky winner for one of them which is lunch for two at Elystan Street Restaurant. There was also an auction run by Brian Turner CBE, and the surprise bid of the night had to be for Two tickets for Saturday Kitchen which was scooped up for £2,000.  In total £40,000 was raised on the night.

Where are the Clink Restaurants located?

To experience fine dining in a rather unique setting and to support this worthy cause, then you can find The Clink Restaurants located at HMP Brixton, HMP Cardiff, HMP Highdown and HMP Styal.