I got the opportunity to shoot for a brilliant charity earlier this year; one that I'd heard about a few times before and, as someone living in South London, was definitely on my list to explore further.
The Clink serves 4000 hungry customers across four award winning restaurants within Her Majesty's Prisons each month alone, and each of those meals has been prepared and served by prisoners living and working within Brixton, High Down, Cardiff and Styal. The prisoners gain experience cooking in kitchens, serving (and even growing produce at The Clink Gardens at HMP Send in Surrey!), whilst working towards City & Guilds NVQs in Food Preparation, Food Service and Customer Service. By providing this unique opportunity, funded by the restaurant diners and donations, some 800 prisoners have graduated from The Clink training projects since 2009, and almost 100 prisoners in 2016 alone were released into work as a result.
The Clink Charity also offers events catering and, headed up by a passionate and talented team, will take the events and catering circuit by storm in the years to come, I'm sure. I was able to shoot some of their brilliant canapes, stunning bowl food and and a selection of their delicious courses for an upcoming campaign.
I think it's a great concept, as I have always personally found cooking food brings comfort and confidence. After all, its the first stepping block of self-sufficiency (everyone seems armed with a recipe from 'home' when you first move into your own place), and food spreads happiness when it's shared with others. It's even been suggested that humans only eat when they feel secure and safe psychologically, so the preparation of food, especially for/including other people, encourages this feeling too. Happily, 250+ companies across the country agree with me and have agreed to employ from the charity's recently released trainees.
Book a table and check it out for yourself. Besides all the good stuff on the menu you get a side order of 'warm and fuzzies' with every meal just for supporting such a great cause. I've said it before and I'll say it again: FOOD (in all of its delicious forms) IS GOOD FOR YOU...and, it turns out, helps other people too.