A Sutton charity training prisoners in catering and horticulture has received a large grant to support its careers programme.
City Bridge Trust, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, awarded £105,000 to the Clink for the project helping prisoners across London to integrate back into society after release.
The funding will cover the salary of a support worker and the programme’s running costs.
The scheme, which benefits prisoners across London, helps with recruitment, training, support, employment and mentoring.
The Clink, which trains prisoners in the last six to 18 months of their sentence, is expanding its work and now trains up to 160 prisoners per day across six sites.
Each trainee works 40 hours per week towards gaining their NVQ Level 2 in Professional Cookery, Food and Beverage Service or Horticulture.
During their time at the Clink, trainees work alongside dedicated support workers before their release who help with CV advice, interview preparation and assist with housing and employment. Its work is centred on building prisoners’ self-esteem, creating a can-do approach and encouraging confidence.
Alison Gowman, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s City Bridge Trust Committee, commented:
“The Clink has a strong track record of providing successful training and mentoring services to prisoners.
“Its work is giving ex-offenders a second chance and the opportunity to have an exciting new career the moment they leave prison. Their work is changing lives and putting people back on the right path to have a brighter future.
“City Bridge Trust is committed to making London a to place to work and live.”
Mark Sillery, Director of Support and Mentoring at the Clink, said:
“We are very proud that we now have over 280 companies who are interested in employing our graduates, subject to a satisfactory interview, upon release.
“The generosity of City Bridge Trust will go a long way in helping many people by breaking the cycle of offending.”
The Clink charity reduces offending amongst offenders through the provision of practical skills and training.
City Bridge Trust is the funding arm of the City of London Corporation’s charity, Bridge House Estates. It is London’s biggest independent grant giver, making grants of £20 million a year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.
The Trust has awarded around 7,900 grants totalling over £380 million since it first began in 1995. It helps achieve the City Corporation’s aim of changing the lives of hundreds of thousands of Londoners.